The measurement of endomysial antibodies is used to diagnose dermatitis herpetiformis and celiac disease and to monitor the compliance of patients with dermatitis herpetiformis and celiac disease to the gluten-free diet.
Gliadin and gluten are proteins that are mainly found in wheat and wheat products. Patients suffering from celiac disease (or otherwise gluten enteropathy) cannot tolerate the consumption of these proteins or any products containing wheat (as well as barley and rye). These proteins act toxic to the mucosa of the small intestine and are the cause of the characteristic pathological lesions. Patients with celiac disease develop severe gastrointestinal symptoms of malabsorption. The only effective treatment for celiac disease is to abstain from wheat and wheat-containing products.
When a patient with celiac disease consumes foods containing wheat (or barley or rye), gluten and gliadin accumulate in the intestinal mucosa. These proteins (and their metabolites) cause immediate mucosal damage. In addition, IgA immunoglobulins against gliadin, endomysium, and tissue transglutaminase (tTG) are expressed in the intestinal mucosa and serum of patients. Identification of specific antibodies in the blood of patients with malabsorption is very useful in supporting the diagnosis of celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis. However, a definitive diagnosis of celiac disease can only be made when the characteristic pathological intestinal lesions of the celiac disease are found (by biopsy). Also, the patient's symptoms should improve with a special gluten-free restrictive diet. Both of the above conditions are necessary for the diagnosis of the disease.
Due to the high specificity of IgA antibodies against endomysium (EMA) for celiac disease, this test may prevent the need for multiple small bowel biopsies to confirm the diagnosis, especially for pediatric patients, including the evaluation of children with developmental problems.
In patients with celiac disease, the determination of these antibodies can be used to monitor disease progression and compliance with dietary guidelines. In addition, these antibodies are indicative of successful treatment because they become negative in patients on a gluten-free diet.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.