, Volume 397, Issue 5, pp 1743-1753
Date: 06 May 2010

Celiac disease diagnosis and gluten-free food analytical control

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Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune enteropathy, characterized by an inappropriate T-cell-mediated immune response to the ingestion of certain dietary cereal proteins in genetically susceptible individuals. This disorder presents environmental, genetic, and immunological components. CD presents a prevalence of up to 1% in populations of European ancestry, yet a high percentage of cases remain underdiagnosed. The diagnosis and treatment should be made early since untreated disease causes growth retardation and atypical symptoms, like infertility or neurological disorders. The diagnostic criteria for CD, which requires endoscopy with small bowel biopsy, have been changing over the last few decades, especially due to the advent of serological tests with higher sensitivity and specificity. The use of serological markers can be very useful to rule out clinical suspicious cases and also to help monitor the patients, after adherence to a gluten-free diet. Since the current treatment consists of a life-long gluten-free diet, which leads to significant clinical and histological improvement, the standardization of an assay to assess in an unequivocal way gluten in gluten-free foodstuff is of major importance.