Most doctors believe that the specific serologic (blood) tests cannot be used as a positive confirmation of a diagnosis of celiac disease. However, it most certainly serves as an important screening, and for many, is proof enough that they should adhere to a gluten-free diet for life. Sometimes doctors forget to mention this, but it is extremely important that your child be on a gluten-containing diet for at least three weeks prior to testing. Without gluten in the diet, there will not be an antibody response and the test will be inconclusive.
It is also important to note that a negative screen does not mean your child isn`t a celiac. Several factors can affect the results
of the screening, and because some of the readings can be subjective, further testing may be required.
Serological testing is also a good tool after a positive diagnosis of celiac disease. In fact, your child should be tested annually to make sure his diet is, in fact, 100% gluten-free. Sometimes the blood screening will reveal elevated antibody levels, and you will discover that something in your child`s diet that you thought was gluten-free, in fact does contain gluten.
Have the tests done by a competent lab. The blood can be drawn in the pediatrician`s office, or at a lab associated with the office. But where the testing is done is extremely important. Make sure the doctor is directing the lab to send the test to a lab, which has a reputation for conducting a lot of celiac testing. Also, make sure the lab technician notices the doctor`s directions regarding what lab the blood sample is to be sent to. It is no fun unnecessarily repeating testing, because someone was careless.
The following labs have excellent reputations for celiac testing:
2211 Michigan Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404
310-828-6543 or 800-421-4449
5739 Pacific Center Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92121-4203
The University of Maryland at Baltimore School of Medicine
Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Dr. Fasano runs this department - very well known for celiac disease
Some content provided by: Kids with Celiac Disease: A Family Survival Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy,
Gluten-Free Children, Danna Korn,,Woodbine House, 2001