Objective Gluten-free diet (GFD) is the only management for coeliac disease (CD). Available methods to assess GFD compliance are insufficiently sensitive to detect occasional dietary transgressions that may cause gut mucosal damage. We aimed to develop a method to determine gluten intake and monitor GFD compliance in patients with CD and to evaluate its correlation with mucosal damage.
Design Urine samples of 76 healthy subjects and 58 patients with CD subjected to different gluten dietary conditions were collected. A lateral flow test (LFT) with the highly sensitive and specific G12 monoclonal antibody for the most dominant gluten immunogenic peptides (GIP) and a LFT reader were used to quantify GIP in solid-phase extracted urines.
Results GIP were detectable in concentrated urines from healthy individuals previously subjected to GFD as early as 4–6 h after single gluten intake, and remained detectable for 1–2 days. The urine assay revealed infringement of the GFD in about 50% of the patients. Analysis of duodenal biopsies revealed that most of patients with CD (89%) with no villous atrophy had no detectable GIP in urine, while all patients with quantifiable GIP in urine showed incomplete intestinal mucosa recovery.
Conclusion GIP are detected in urine after gluten consumption, enabling a new and non-invasive method to monitor GFD compliance and transgressions. The method was sensitive, specific and simple enough to be convenient for clinical monitoring of patients with CD as well as for basic and clinical research applications including drug development.
Trial registration number NCT02344758.
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