Low Titer Tissue Transglutaminase Antibodies: A Link to Helicobacter pylori Infection?


Akkelle B. S. , KALAYCIK ŞENGÜL Ö. , TUTAR E. , Volkan B., ÇELİKEL Ç. , ERTEM ŞAHİNOĞLU D.

DIGESTIVE DISEASES, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000516479
  • Title of Journal : DIGESTIVE DISEASES
  • Keywords: Celiac serology, Autoantibody, Helicobacter pylori, Children, DUODENAL INTRAEPITHELIAL LYMPHOCYTOSIS, CELIAC-DISEASE, CHILDREN, AUTOANTIBODIES, PREVALENCE, GUIDELINES, GLIADIN

Abstract

Introduction: Low serum titer of anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) has been described in various conditions without any evidence of celiac disease (CD). Infectious agents have been suggested to trigger autoimmunity and promote the production of anti-tTG. The aim of this study was to investigate if there is a link between a positive celiac serology and concomitant Helicobacter pylori infection in children. Methods: The data of 178 pediatric patients who underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy due to positive celiac serology were compiled. The patients whose histopathologic findings were not consistent with CD were followed on gluten-containing diet. The changes in the serum level of anti-tTG IgA on the follow-up were compared between H. pylori-infected and noninfected patients after the eradication of H. pylori. Results: Of 155 patients who met the inclusion criteria, 119 (group 1) were diagnosed as CD, and duodenal histopathology of the remaining 36 children (group 2) was not compatible with CD. In group 2, 11 out of 36 (30.5%) patients were infected with H. pylori. After the eradication of H. pylori, anti-tTG IgA level either decreased or dropped below cutoff value in 9/11 (81%) patients while it was 20% in those who were not infected with H. pylori in the 6th month of the follow-up (p = 0.001). Conclusion: Our results suggest that H. pylori infection may be the cause of false or transient positive celiac serology. Thus, a positive celiac serology should be carefully interpreted in the presence of H. pylori infection before confirming the diagnosis of this life-long disease.