Additional value of serum I-FABP levels for evaluating celiac disease activity in children

Department of Pediatrics, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, Netherlands.
Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 2.36). 12/2011; 46(12):1435-41. DOI: 10.3109/00365521.2011.627447
Source: PubMed


Addition of a non-invasive marker for intestinal damage to the currently used parameters for celiac disease activity (symptoms, serologic tests and biopsy) might further improve clinical management of celiac disease (CD). Intestinal fatty acid binding protein (I-FABP) is a cytosolic enterocyte protein and sensitive marker for enterocyte damage in the small intestine. We investigated whether serum I-FABP levels can reliably identify villous atrophy in children with a positive CD antibody screening. Moreover, the recovery of I-FABP levels after gluten free diet (GFD) was studied.
I-FABP levels were analyzed retrospectively in 49 children with biopsy proven CD and in 19 patients with a positive screening but without histological confirmation of CD. Blood was collected before biopsy and repeatedly after the onset of GFD.
Initial I-FABP concentrations in CD (median 458 pg/ml) were significantly (p < 0.001) elevated compared to controls (median 20 pg/ml). In the control group, only two of 19 children were found to have elevated I-FABP levels, of which one was subsequently diagnosed with CD after gluten challenge. I-FABP concentrations correlated with severity of villous atrophy. In all CD patients, I-FABP levels decreased quickly after GFD and normalized in 80% of patients within 12 weeks.
Elevated I-FABP levels accurately predict villous atrophy in children with a positive serologic test for CD (positive predictive value 98%). In addition, measurement of I-FABP enables monitoring the response to GFD.

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Available from: Victorien M Wolters, Aug 02, 2014
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    • "In addition, as the expression of IFABP is limited to the intestinal epithelium, this protein is a better marker of intestinal damage than LFABP which is also expressed in other tissues [10]. The concentration of IFABP in serum samples also correlates with both anti-transglutaminase 2 IgA antibody levels and the severity of villous atrophy in CD patients at the time of diagnosis [23] [24] [25]. In addition, IFABP determination may have an advantage over anti-TG2 given that IFABP's half-life is shorter and could reflect rapid changes at mucosal level. "
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Enterocyte damage is the hallmark of coeliac disease (CD) resulting in malabsorption. Little is known about the recovery of enterocyte damage and its clinical consequences. Serum intestinal fatty acid binding protein (I-FABP) is a sensitive marker to study enterocyte damage. AIMS: To evaluate the severity of enterocyte damage in adult-onset CD and its course upon a gluten-free diet (GFD). Furthermore, the correlation among enterocyte damage, CD autoantibodies and histological abnormalities during the course of disease is studied. METHODS: Serum I-FABP levels were determined in 96 biopsy-proven adult CD patients and in 69 patients repeatedly upon a GFD. A total of 141 individuals with normal antitissue transglutaminase antibody (IgA-tTG) levels served as controls. I-FABP levels were related to the degree of villous atrophy (Marsh grade) and IgA-tTG. RESULTS: I-FABP levels were elevated in untreated CD (median 691 pg/mL) compared with controls (median 178 pg/mL, P < 0.001) and correlated with Marsh grade (r = 0.265, P < 0.05) and IgA-tTG (r = 0.403, P < 0.01). Upon a GFD serum levels decreased significantly, however, not within the range observed in controls, despite the common observed normalisation of IgA-tTG levels and Marsh grade. CD patients with elevated I-FABP levels nonresponding to GFD showed persistent histological abnormalities. CONCLUSIONS: Enterocyte damage assessed by serum I-FABP correlates with the severity of villous atrophy in coeliac disease at the time of diagnosis. Although enterocyte damage improves upon treatment, substantial enterocyte damage persists despite absence of villous atrophy and low IgA-tTG levels in the majority of cases. Elevated I-FABP levels nonresponding to gluten-free diet are indicative of histological abnormalities and warrant further evaluation.
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