Very high rate of misdiagnosis of celiac disease in clinical practice.
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OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the accuracy of the diagnosis of celiac disease (CD) performed in the community clinical setting compared with that of an academic experienced center. MATERIALS: Original biopsy slides and reports used for diagnosis in the community setting and the CD serology were revised in 70 consecutive patients attending our institution for a second opinion. An expert team determined the final diagnosis unaware of the original consideration. RESULTS: The poor quality of samples made histology assessment by the expert pathologist uncertain in 8.7% of slides with CD external diagnosis. We detected a divergent diagnosis between the two practice settings in 46.3% of available cases with a significant overdiagnosis of CD in the community (p < 0.0001). Congruent serology results were demonstrated in 72.2% of cases. CONCLUSION: Our study detected a high rate of histopathological and serological misdiagnosis of CD in community practice which may have profound negative impact on patients.
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