Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Predictors of duodenal bulb biopsy performance in the evaluation of coeliac disease in children
  1. Pornthep Tanpowpong1,
  2. Sarabeth Broder-Fingert1,
  3. Aubrey J Katz1,
  4. Carlos A Camargo Jr2
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Carlos A Camargo, Massachusetts General Hospital, 326 Cambridge Street, Suite 410, Boston, MA 02114, USA; ccamargo{at}


Aims Studies on the role of duodenal bulb biopsy (DBB) in coeliac disease (CD) evaluation have increased in recent years; growing evidence suggests that the disease can present solely in the duodenal bulb. Moreover, recent CD guidelines recommend obtaining a DBB. The study aim was to examine DBB performance in children undergoing CD evaluation and to identify independent predictors of DBB performance.

Methods The authors performed a structured chart review of children aged <18 years who underwent CD evaluation between 2000 and 2010 at a large teaching hospital. The authors collected data including demographics, serology, endoscopy and histopathological findings. Predictors of DBB performance (obtained vs not obtained) were determined using multivariable logistic regression.

Results Among 616 children who underwent endoscopy, DBB was performed in 103 children (17%, 95% CI 14% to 20%) with an increasing trend in the more recent years (2008–2010, 25%; 2004–2007, 16%; and 2000–2003, 5%, p<0.001). Three independent predictors of DBB performance were older age at endoscopy (OR 1.05 per year of age), gross gastric antral abnormalities (OR 2.81) and gross duodenal abnormalities (OR 5.55). Regarding the DBB histological findings, patchiness of CD was found in 15%. Positive Marsh III biopsy presented solely on the DBB in 6/103 (6%, 95% CI 2% to 12%) children.

Conclusions The authors found a significant increase in DBB performance over time, but the overall performance remains suboptimal. Improving education on obtaining a DBB for CD evaluation is crucial, especially among those children in whom DBB is more likely to be omitted.

  • Paediatric
  • endoscopy
  • serology
  • duodenum
  • coeliac disease
  • paediatric pathology
  • gastroenterology
  • vitamin D
  • epidemiology
  • infections

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by Partners Institutional Review Board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.