The conventional celiac sprue test takes a blood sample from someone suspected of having celiac disease, but they must be on a gluten diet for quite a while before taking the test.
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers are developing a new blood test that can detect celiac disease without the patient being on a prolonged diet of gluten.
A small study so far shows that the test can be quite accurate, and eating gluten for only three days is all it takes to get a result. The full report is in Clinical & Experimental Immunology.
“Our findings reveal this novel blood test is accurate after only three days of gluten consumption,” says gastroenterologist Dr. Jason Tye-Din, head of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, “not the several weeks or months traditionally required to make a diagnosis using intestinal biopsies.”
Dr. Tye-Din refers to his test as the “cytokine release” test, and it measures the T cell (immune system) response to gluten after only three days of eating it, “and a positive response is highly predictive of celiac disease,” he says.
In the study, the test was negative for all of the subjects who did not have CD.
Dr. Tye-Din’s goal is to have larger studies to further validate his findings so that the test can be established in conventional medicine for a diagnosis of CD, with the idea that intestinal biopsies (the gold standard for diagnosis) can be avoided altogether.
Celiac disease doesn’t get the attention it deserves. There’s more to it than just stomach cramps and diarrhea. Dr. Tye-Din points out that this autoimmune condition, if untreated, can lead to infertility, pregnancy problems, brittle bones, liver failure, even cancer. The treatment is a 100 percent gluten-free diet. Not even one crumb of gluten. Ever again.
For more information:
– How common is celiac disease?
– Why even just one crumb of wheat can be dangerous to celiacs
– Can you have celiac disease without symptoms?
– Negative blood test, but elevated antigliadins in the stool?
– Can you be too old to get celiac disease?