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Ask the Doc: Can IgA level affect celiac testing?

Posted By Alison On Dec 11, 2008 @ In Ask the Doc | 4 Comments

Q. Is it common for kids (my son is 2.5) to have false negatives? How much does his IgA level affect the testing? My son has never had growth issues, is it still possible for his symptoms to be caused by Celiac? Can Celiac be jump started by rota-virus? Can the testing be misread?

Sorry for all the questions, but my son (2.5) has had chronic diarrhea, as well as many other issues, since he was hospitalized with rotavirus. After 2 endoscopes the cause of his problems is still undiagnosed. He is IgA deficient, but nobody has mentioned much about that, but I have read that can affect the testing.

A. Since the tTG antibody test is an IGA antibody, IgA deficiency will make the tests falsely negative. An IgG tTG test would be helpful, as would HLA DQ2, DQ8 genetic studies. If any of those are positive, he needs an intestinal biopsy. He may well have post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome, especially if there was stress at the time of the initial rotavirus infection. Very low doses of aminosalicylates such as balsalazide (use about 250mg in applesauce) daily could help.

Health and happiness,
Dr. Aron

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