Diagnostic approach to a patient with suspected celiac disease: A cost analysis

G. C. Harewood, J. A. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Serological testing is an important tool in the diagnostic work-up of suspected celiac disease. Our aim was to apply a decision analysis model to compare the costs of serological testing versus small bowel biopsy in the diagnostic work-up of celiac disease. A cost-minimization approach was employed. A decision analysis model with three diagnostic arms was designed using Data Version 3.5: anti-gliadin antibody versus endomysial antibody versus small bowel biopsy. Response to gluten-free diet was considered diagnostic of celiac disease; lack of response prompted a small bowel biopsy to definitively exclude celiac disease. Baseline probabilities were varied using sensitivity analysis. Sensitivity analysis revealed that the endomysial antibody strategy was least costly, provided the prevalence of celiac disease was less than 42%; above this anti-gliadin antibody became the most economical option. In conclusion, initial screening with endomysial antibody is the least costly strategy for diagnosing celiac disease in a low risk population. Antigliadin antibody becomes the cheaper strategy for higher risk populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2510-2514
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2001


  • Anti-gliadin antibody
  • Autoantibodies
  • Celiac disease
  • Cost analysis
  • Decision modeling
  • Endomysial antibody

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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