Pathology Laboratory

Tissue Transglutaminase Antibody Test

A tissue transglutaminase antibody test (tTG test) measures antibodies against a protein found in celiac disease. Find out more about this blood test!

What is the Tissue Transglutaminase Antibody Test?

Tissue Transglutaminase Antibody test is also known as Celiac disease antibody test or tTG. This test is done to detect celiac disease and also to determine the efficacy of a gluten-free diet.

Why has the Anti Tissue Transglutaminase Antibody test done?

The tissue transglutaminase antibody test is done;

  • In case of symptoms of celiac disease such as chronic diarrhoea, bloating, pain in the abdomen, anaemia, and weight loss
  • If an infant is irritable for a long time
  • If an infant is not growing at a normal rate,
  • In case of a family history of celiac disease
  • In patients undergoing treatment for celiac disease

What does the tTG test Measure?

The tissue transglutaminase antibody test measures self-generated antibodies present in the blood which are produced by the body in response to autoimmune disorders such as celiac disease and other gluten-sensitive conditions. In celiac disease, an inappropriate immune response is generated to counter gluten. Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, rye, and barley. 

Because of the immune response produced by the body, there is inflammation of the small intestine, which leads to damage and destruction of the villi that lines the walls of the intestine. Villi are finger-like structures present in the small intestine. These increase the surface area of the intestine and help in the digestion of food. They allow various nutrients, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and fluids to be absorbed into the body. 

If a person suffering from celiac disease gets exposed to gluten content, the body in response produces antibodies. These antibodies cause inflammation, which damages the villi. This damage will further affect the body’s ability to absorb food. In such conditions, the body develops signs and symptoms which are associated with malnutrition and malabsorption. 

tTG Antibodies Test Cost in Pune

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TTG IgA result interpretations

Result (In Units) Interpretation

  • <20 Negative
  • 20-30 Weak Positive
  • >30 Positive

*The reference range may vary from lab to lab.

  • A positive anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody test usually shows celiac disease 
  • A negative test usually means that symptoms are not likely because of celiac disease. If the person being tested has consumed no gluten for several weeks or months before the test, then the test may show false-negative results 
  • All antibody tests for celiac disease are usually followed by an intestinal biopsy, which is the gold standard for diagnosis of this condition 
How to prepare for the tTG antibody test?

Before the tTG test, sometimes for way as long as a week or more than suggested by your doctor have food that is rich in gluten like bread, pasta and baked goods, as the body will produce respective antibodies only when exposed to gluten. In case if gluten is ceased from the diet being taken, there won’t be any antibody response that is to be measured. Things turn easier for both the patient and the lab technician if the clothing is worn is like T-shirt or short-sleeved shirt giving easy access to the parts where blood is to be squeezed.

Procedure for Anti tTG test

A lab technician will draw the blood from a vein in hand. For an infant, the blood is drawn from the heel by making a puncture with a small needle called a lancet and the blood is then collected into the vial. Where blood is drawn from a vein, the skin surface is cleaned with antiseptic and a tourniquet is placed around the upper arm or in rare cases, some good enough pressure is applied manually for the veins to get swollen with blood. A needle is then inserted into a vein and enough blood to test is withdrawn and collected in a vial or syringe.

You may also interest in reading: Blood Test Notes

Reference: 1MG

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