Screening for coeliac disease in preschool Greek children: The feasibility study of a community-based project

Thomai Karagiozoglou-Lampoudi, Aglaia Zellos, George Vlahavas, Yota Kafritsa, Eleftheria Roma, Alexandra Papadopoulou, Maria Fotoulaki, Stavroula Karyda, Ioannis Xinias, Afroditi Savvidou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Aim Evaluation of the prevalence of coeliac disease (CD) in Greek paediatric population. Methods The project consists of two parts: (i) a pilot study of preschool children aged 2-6 years to test the feasibility and diagnostic accuracy of community-based screening and (ii) a CD prevalence study, by random clustered sampling and proportionate stratification of various geographical areas in Greece. Trained nonmedical staff performed a rapid immunochromatographic test to detect IgA antibodies to tTG-IgA and IgA deficiency. Toddlers with positive results were referred to a paediatric gastroenterologist for further assessment with serum anti-tTG IgA and EMA-IgA. Children with positive serum anti-tTG and anti-EMA underwent upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopy and small bowel biopsy and were subsequently in gluten-free diet. Results In this project participated 1136 toddlers, who were tested at school. The prevalence of positive rapid anti-tTG screening was 1:154, of IgA deficiency 1:120 and of biopsy-proven CD 1:154. The prevalence of CD from this pilot study served as expected prevalence value for sample size calculation for the main prevalence study. Conclusion This protocol using rapid immunochromatographic test for the detection of both IgA deficiency and CD is easy to be performed by nonmedical staff in a community setting, enabling the accurate identification of new CD cases among asymptomatic population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)749-754
Number of pages6
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Coeliac disease
  • Screening
  • Tissue transglutaminase IgA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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