Deamidated Gliadin Antibody
Does this test have other names?
Deamidated gliadin peptide antibodies, DGP, DGP-AGA
What is this test?
This test looks for the level of deamidated gliadin antibodies (DMG) in your blood.
Gliadin is one of the main proteins in gluten. The test is used to help find out whether
you have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease.
If you have celiac disease, your immune system responds abnormally to gluten, which
is mainly found in wheat, barley, and rye products. It's also found in common products,
such as lip balm, medicines, and vitamins. If you consume products that contain gluten,
your immune system attacks and damages the tiny tubules that line the small intestine.
If these villi are destroyed, you will become malnourished even if you are eating
well. Complications of celiac disease include joint pain, thinning bones, anemia,
seizures, and cancer.
More than 90% of people with untreated celiac disease have higher-than-normal levels
of DMG antibodies, but very few people without the disease do.
Why do I need this test?
You may need this test if you have symptoms of celiac disease. Signs and symptoms
vary from person to person, but common ones include:
Stomach pain and bloating
Stools that are pale, fatty, or smell unusually bad
Canker sores in the mouth
Tingling and numbness
Anxiety or depression
Even if you don't have symptoms, your healthcare provider may also order this test
if you have iron deficiency anemia or a deficiency in folate or vitamin B12. These deficiencies may mean that your body is not absorbing enough nutrients.
Other signs and symptoms of celiac disease that might trigger this test include:
Regular migraine headaches
Delayed puberty and growth
Low birth weight in infants
Several conditions are also more common in people with celiac disease. If you have
symptoms of celiac disease and have one of these conditions, your healthcare provider
may order this test:
If you have already been diagnosed with celiac disease and are on a gluten-free diet,
your healthcare provider may have you tested from time to time to see whether your
body is responding well to the new diet.
What other tests might I have along with this test?
Your healthcare provider may also order other blood tests to look for celiac disease:
IgA endomysial antibody, or IgA EMAIg
A tissue transglutaminase antibody, or IgA tTG
Complete blood count
Lipid levels, for total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides
Your healthcare provider will likely want to confirm the diagnosis of celiac disease
with a small intestine biopsy. He or she may also do a bone density scan to see whether
you have bone loss as a result of the celiac disease.
What do my test results mean?
Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used
for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem.
Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you.
Normal results are negative. If you are a low risk for celiac disease and have a negative
result, it likely means you don't have the condition. If you are at high risk for
celiac disease and have a negative result, your healthcare provider will interpret
the results, based on your symptoms and medical history. He or she may do a small
bowel biopsy in case it's a false-negative.
A positive test result means that it's likely you have celiac disease. Usually, your
healthcare provider will do a small bowel biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.
How is this test done?
The test is done with a blood sample. A needle is used to draw blood from a vein in
your arm or hand.
Does this test pose any risks?
Having a blood test with a needle carries some risks. These include bleeding, infection,
bruising, and feeling lightheaded. When the needle pricks your arm or hand, you may
feel a slight sting or pain. Afterward, the site may be sore.
What might affect my test results?
If you have been avoiding foods containing gluten in the weeks before your test, your
antibody levels could be normal even though you have celiac disease. It's important
to keep gluten in your diet before the test.
The test may not be as accurate in children younger than 2.
How do I get ready for this test?
It's important to eat a normal diet, including foods that contain gluten, in the weeks
leading up to your test. If you have gone off of gluten foods because you suspect
celiac disease, you should go back on a gluten-rich diet for 2 to 12 weeks before
Be sure your healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements
you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit
drugs you may use.