Optimal Result: 0 - 4 U/mL.

A tissue transglutaminase IgA (tTg-IgA) test is used to help doctors diagnose celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system mistakenly thinks that gluten — a protein in wheat, barley, rye, and oats — is a foreign invader. The immune system makes antibodies that attack an enzyme in the intestines called tissue transglutaminase (tTG).

The Tissue Transglutaminase Antibodies (tTG-IgA) test will be positive in about 98% of patients with celiac disease who are on a gluten-containing diet. The test’s sensitivity measures how correctly it identifies those with the disease. The same test will come back negative in about 95% of healthy people without celiac disease. The test’s specificity refers to how accurately it is able to identify those without the disease. The tTG test is the most sensitive test for celiac disease. Though rare, this means patients with celiac disease could have a negative antibody test result.

There is also a slight risk of a false positive test result, especially for people with associated autoimmune disorders like type 1 diabetes, autoimmune liver disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, psoriatic or rheumatoid arthritis, and heart failure, who do not have celiac disease.

There are other antibody tests available to double-check for potential false positives or false negatives, but because of potential for false antibody test results, a biopsy of the small intestine is the only way to diagnose celiac disease.

What does it mean if your TISSUE TRANSGLUTAMINASE AB, IGA result is too high?

The Tissue Transglutaminase Antibodies (tTG-IgA) test will be positive in about 98% of patients with celiac disease who are on a gluten-containing diet. The test’s sensitivity measures how correctly it identifies those with the disease. The same test will come back negative in about 95% of healthy people without celiac disease. The test’s specificity refers to how accurately it is able to identify those without the disease. The tTG test is the most sensitive test for celiac disease. Though rare, this means patients with celiac disease could have a negative antibody test result.

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