Coeliac Screen

Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG) IgA and IgG

Coeliac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestine and interferes with the absorption of essential nutrients from food. Individuals who have CD cannot tolerate gluten - a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, which may also be found in everyday products such as medicines, vitamins and lip balms.

What are the symptoms?
  • Diarrhoea, excessive wind and/or constipation
  • Persistent gastrointestinal symptoms, including, stomach pain, cramping, bloating, nausea and vomiting
  • Iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency
  • Anaemia
  • Tiredness
  • Sudden or unexpected weight loss (but not in all cases)
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Alopecia
  • Skin rash
  • Neurological problems including ataxia (loss of coordination, poor balance) and peripheral neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the hands and feet)
  • Repeated miscarriages
  • Tooth enamel problems
  • Depression
  • Liver abnormalities
Testing for Coeliac Disease

While an intestinal biopsy remains the "gold standard" method for diagnosing CD, it is highly invasive for the patient. However,  blood tests are now available to screen for CD by detecting specific autoantibodies commonly associated with the conditions.

How does the test work?

Testing is simple and straightforward and involves screening a finger-prick sample of blood for antibodies to tissue Transglutaminase (tTG)- the key autoantibody associated with CD- using an ELISA - based laboratory method.

  • tTG IgA - Studies have shown that IgA antibodies raised against tTG - an enzyme present in the connective tissue of the gut- are strongly associated with the presence of CD. tTG IgA antibodies are both highly sensitive (95-100%) and specific (90-97%) for CD.
  • tTG IgG - Patients with CD can exhibit IgA-deficiency. In such cases, an IgA-tTG tests will produce a negative result. An IgG tests is then recommended to prevent false negative result from being obtained (NICE clinical guideline 86).

Sample Require a finger-prick blood sample in clinic, using the components provided in the Sample Collection Pack. Results are obtained in just 10 minutes, enabling practitioners to give immediate advice to patients.

Sources Cambridge Nutritional Sciences.