EDIGER WORKS TO EASE PEDIATRIC CELIAC CARE
Tracy Ediger ’93, M.D., Ph.D., Bexley, Ohio, is an attending pediatric gastroenterologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. He is also the senior author of a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics on a more streamlined approach to decreasing the burden of testing on patients and reducing health-care expenditures for pediatric patients diagnosed with celiac disease.
What Other Screening Tests Should be Administered to Celiac Disease Patients?
Eliminating some labs may reduce costs without impacting quality of patient care.
Researchers from Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that several screening laboratory tests currently recommended for pediatric patients newly diagnosed with celiac disease are infrequently abnormal. In a new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, they suggest a more streamlined approach to decrease the burden of testing on patients and reduce health care expenditures.
In celiac disease, the ingestion of gluten triggers an autoimmune response, leading to inflammation and damage to the small intestine, as well as non-gastrointestinal symptoms. Other recommended laboratory tests at the time of diagnosis include a complete blood count, ferritin, iron, total iron-binding capacity, 25-hydroxy vitamin D, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase, and screening for hepatitis B immunization status.
Approximately four years ago, Nationwide Children’s implemented a Celiac Care Index as part of a quality improvement initiative to adhere to published screening recommendations. For the new study, researchers reviewed the charts of over 450 patients enrolled in their celiac disease registry between 2018 and 2022. They analyzed rates of abnormal laboratory values and estimated costs associated with these screening measures.
“We found that a number of these tests are rarely abnormal and could be eliminated without jeopardizing patient care,” says Tracy Ediger, MD, PhD, an attending pediatric gastroenterologist at Nationwide Children’s and senior author of the study.