Introduction Coeliac disease (CD), a T-cell-mediated gluten sensitive enteropathy, affects ~1% of the UK population, and in adults presents with a wide range of clinical features; often mistaken for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Heightened clinical awareness and serological screening identifies those likely to have CD; the diagnosis confirmed by histological features in small bowel/duodenal biopsies. Limitations to diagnosis are false negative serology (e.g., in IgA deficient patients, the young and the elderly) and reluctance to undergo biopsy. Examining the pattern of urinary volatiles offers a novel non-invasive approach. The gut microbiome is perturbed in several gastrointestinal disorders, resulting in altered gut fermentation patterns, and recognisable by analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in urine, breath and faeces. The altered structure of the small intestinal mucosa, increased gut permeability and altered gluten peptide metabolism, we hypothesised, would change the microbiome creating a unique “fermentome” pattern, distinguishable from IBS. We investigated this by examining the urinary VOC pattern using Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry (FAIMS).
Methods 47 patients were recruited, 27 with CD and 20 with diarrhoea-predominant IBS (D-IBS). Urine was collected and 10ml aliquots were stored frozen in universal containers. For assay, the containers were heated to 40 ± 0.1oC. The headspace above the sample was then analysed by FAIMS. Linear discriminant analysis (LDA) was used for statistical evaluation.
Results LDA showed that FAIMS distinguishes the VOC pattern in CD vs D-IBS with a sensitivity and specificity of 85% respectively.
Conclusion This pilot study suggests that FAIMS offers a novel non-invasive approach to identify those likely to have CD, and distinguishes from D-IBS. It may have the potential to non-invasively track the progress of CD when on a gluten-free diet, to monitor adherence and observe changes.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared.