Background: Strategies for diagnosing celiac disease (CD) include case-finding and population-screening programs. Case finding consists of testing individuals at increased risk for the disease due to symptoms or associated conditions. Screening programs are widespread campaigns, which definitely perform better in terms of unveiling CD diagnoses but nowadays are still debatable. The global prevalence of CD is around 1% but it almost doubles when considering screening programs among school children. Within this framework, we aimed to estimate the prevalence of CD among hospitalized children in the Pediatric Department of a Southern Italy University Hospital in the period from January 2018 through December 2021. In addition, we attempted to explore, at the time of diagnosis, the prevalence of leading clinical alerts due to malabsorption/malnutrition such as anemia or failure to thrive or due to systemic inflammation/immune dysfunction as hypertransaminasemia and thyroid dysfunction. Methods: Data records of pediatric patients admitted as inpatients and tested by anti-transglutaminase IgA antibodies (TGA-IgA) were retrospectively analyzed. CD was diagnosed according to either 2012 or 2020 ESPGHAN guidelines, depending on the year of diagnosis. CD autoimmunity (CDA) was a wider group defined within our protocol if patients had elevated TGA-IgA on at least one occasion, regardless of anti-endomysial antibodies (EMA-IgA) and without biopsy confirmation. Results: During the observation period, 3608 pediatric patients were admitted and 1320 were screened for CD (median age 5 years, IQR 2–9 years; CD test rate: 36.6% out of all admissions). The available prevalence of newly diagnosed CD was 1.59% (21 patients diagnosed) and the available prevalence of CDA was 3.86% (51 subjects). Among CD patients, underweight/malnourished children accounted for 28.6% (6 out of 21). Conclusions: The estimated prevalence of CD diagnoses within our setting was comparable to the most recent population-screening programs. The estimated prevalence of CDA was even higher. A hospital-admission CD testing during routine blood draws might be a non-invasive, cost-effective and valuable approach to reduce discrepancy of prevalence between case-finding and population-screening programs.

Celiac Disease on the Bed-Side: Embedding Case Finding and Screening in Hospitalized Children

Mandato C.;Boccia G.;Lucaroni G.;Franci G.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Background: Strategies for diagnosing celiac disease (CD) include case-finding and population-screening programs. Case finding consists of testing individuals at increased risk for the disease due to symptoms or associated conditions. Screening programs are widespread campaigns, which definitely perform better in terms of unveiling CD diagnoses but nowadays are still debatable. The global prevalence of CD is around 1% but it almost doubles when considering screening programs among school children. Within this framework, we aimed to estimate the prevalence of CD among hospitalized children in the Pediatric Department of a Southern Italy University Hospital in the period from January 2018 through December 2021. In addition, we attempted to explore, at the time of diagnosis, the prevalence of leading clinical alerts due to malabsorption/malnutrition such as anemia or failure to thrive or due to systemic inflammation/immune dysfunction as hypertransaminasemia and thyroid dysfunction. Methods: Data records of pediatric patients admitted as inpatients and tested by anti-transglutaminase IgA antibodies (TGA-IgA) were retrospectively analyzed. CD was diagnosed according to either 2012 or 2020 ESPGHAN guidelines, depending on the year of diagnosis. CD autoimmunity (CDA) was a wider group defined within our protocol if patients had elevated TGA-IgA on at least one occasion, regardless of anti-endomysial antibodies (EMA-IgA) and without biopsy confirmation. Results: During the observation period, 3608 pediatric patients were admitted and 1320 were screened for CD (median age 5 years, IQR 2–9 years; CD test rate: 36.6% out of all admissions). The available prevalence of newly diagnosed CD was 1.59% (21 patients diagnosed) and the available prevalence of CDA was 3.86% (51 subjects). Among CD patients, underweight/malnourished children accounted for 28.6% (6 out of 21). Conclusions: The estimated prevalence of CD diagnoses within our setting was comparable to the most recent population-screening programs. The estimated prevalence of CDA was even higher. A hospital-admission CD testing during routine blood draws might be a non-invasive, cost-effective and valuable approach to reduce discrepancy of prevalence between case-finding and population-screening programs.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4854592
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