Screening for coeliac disease in apparently healthy blood donors

Acta Paediatr Suppl. 1996 May;412:36-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1996.tb14245.x.


As gliadin is a common food antigen for many people, we have developed an ELISA for the detection of class-specific antigliadin antibodies (AGA), with which sera from a large population of apparently healthy blood donors was analysed. A very high prevalence (1/256) of positive AGA was found. However, the positive predictive value (+PV) was found to be very low, 20% for IgA-AGA and 0% for IgG-AGA alone. When screening large populations with no or few symptoms, it is desirable to have a high +PV to avoid unnecessary biopsies. IgA antiendomysium antibodies (IgA-EMA) were evaluated both as a single test and in combination with IgA-AGA. When screening individuals for CD in a population with no or few symptoms the easy and cheap IgA-AGA assay should be used as a first test and the IgA-EMA to verify the diagnosis and avoid unnecessary biopsies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autoimmunity
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Donors*
  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis*
  • Celiac Disease / epidemiology
  • Celiac Disease / immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Gliadin / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Serologic Tests / methods
  • Sweden / epidemiology


  • Biomarkers
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Gliadin