Background: Anti-endomysial antibodies are sensitive and specific markers for celiac disease. This antibody has recently been identified as an antibody to tissue transglutaminase, an enzyme that cross-links and stabilizes extracellular matrix proteins.
Objectives: To evaluate the clinical usefulness of an enzyme-linked immunoassay for anti-transglutaminase antibodies, and to compare the results with those of AEA, the current gold standard serological test for celiac disease.
Methods: Serum samples were collected from 33 patients with biopsy-proven celiac disease and AEA tests were performed. Control samples for anti-transglutaminase were obtained from 155 patients. An ELISA test for immunoglobulin A anti-transglutaminase utilizing guinea pig liver transglutaminase was developed and performed on all sera. Cutoff values for the test were performed using logistic regression and receiver operating curves analysis.
Results: An optical density cutoff value of 0.34 was established for the assay. The mean value was 0.18±0.19 optical density for controls, and 1.65±1.14 for patients with celiac disease (P<0.001). Sensitivity and specificity of the assay were both 90%, while AEA had a sensitivity and specificity of 100% and 94%, respectively.
Conclusions: A tissue transglutaminase-based ELISA test is both sensitive and specific for detection of celiac disease.
AEA = anti-endomysial antibody