Celiac Disease Testing in Children

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For parents, there are a multitude of everyday children’s matters and milestone marks that take up plenty of time and concern, so when there is a medical issue (especially one as complex as an autoimmune disease like celiac disease), it can be especially taxing. Doctor visits can feel rushed, confusing, and overwhelming, so we put together this guide to testing and diagnosis to make sure you don’t miss a beat.

Is there a genetic risk?

Since celiac disease has a genetic component, a child of someone who has been diagnosed has a higher chance of developing it.   The general incidence of celiac disease is about 1%, but for kids of those who have been diagnosed (as well as for other first degree relatives), the likelihood of developing celiac disease ranges from 4 – 16%.


What tests are necessary?

Anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG)

Anti-endomysium (EMA)

Anti-deamidated gliadin peptides (DGP)

Total serum IgA (since, an IgA deficiency can affect the accuracy of antibody tests and indicate that different versions of antibody testing are needed.)



Genetic testing


If all tests are negative



-Szajewska H, et al. Gluten Introduction and the Risk of Coeliac Disease: A Position Paper by the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. JPGN 2016; 62: 507-513.

-University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/faq/what-is-the-prevalence-for-others-in-my-family-to-have-celiac-disease-since-ive-been-diagnosed-with-it-2/ .   Accessed August 6, 2018.

-University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/faq/at-what-age-should-children-get-tested-for-celiac-disease/. Accessed August 9, 2018.