Coeliac Disease Point-of-Care Test

What is the purpose of the test?

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks the lining of the small bowel. The immune reaction is triggered by gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Coeliac disease affects approximately 1% of the population and is treated with a gluten-free diet. It is diagnosed by taking a biopsy of the small bowel at endoscopy. It is important that people with a high risk for coeliac disease have biopsies taken. Routine laboratory blood tests, requested by your GP or hospital, are used to identify people at risk of coeliac disease.

The Simtomax point-of-care test for coeliac disease is a fingerprick test that uses a pin prick of blood to detect antibodies to Deamidated Gliadin Peptides (DGP). DGP is produced in individuals with coeliac disease and is one of the latest screening markers for coeliac disease. A result can be given within ten minutes and the test has comparable accuracy to the laboratory blood tests used to screen for coeliac disease.


Am I eligible for a test?

This screening test is not available to everyone. It is specifically intended for those who feel they have symptoms related to gluten ingestion or are at a higher risk of coeliac disease. In addition, you must be following a gluten-containing diet in order for the test result to be accurate.

You will have to complete an online screening assessment prior to being able to make an appointment for a test today.


Do I need to have a point of care test if I visit the Schär bus?

It is up to you to decide. If you have completed an online assessment and it is has indicated that it is appropriate for you to have a test, and there is an available appointment slot with the nurse, you can book a test with our nurses. You will be asked to sign a consent form to show that you have agreed to have the test. You are able to withdraw at any time without giving a reason.

If you do proceed with the fingerprick test today, the nurse will provide you with a letter that details your test result. If appropriate, you can take this to your GP to discuss further. An information leaflet will also be provided.

Alternatively, you can choose to make an appointment with your GP to discuss your online assessment result. Your GP can then offer you a routine laboratory blood test to identify if you are at risk of coeliac disease.


What does it mean if I have a positive test result?

A positive test result indicates the presence of antibodies to Deamidated Gliadin Peptides (DGP). The test is highly accurate at detecting antibodies that are indicative of coeliac disease but occasionally positive results are found in individuals who do not actually have coeliac disease. When this occurs it is known as a ‘false positive’ result and may happen in a small percentage of tests undertaken.

Following a positive test result an appointment should be made with your GP. A letter will be provided by the nurse carrying out the test today. It is important that no changes are made to the diet until your GP has confirmed your diagnosis, your GP will need to arrange further testing and the results of these tests will be inaccurate if you are already following a gluten free diet.  A gluten-containing diet should continue to be followed until a healthcare professional recommends otherwise.


What does it mean if I have a negative test result?

A negative test result indicates that there are no antibodies to Deamidated Gliadin Peptides (DGP) present. Providing that adequate gluten was being consumed prior to the test, it is approximately 95% accurate for ruling out coeliac disease. However, in a very small number of cases, the test can provide a false negative result despite an individual having coeliac disease. This is known as a ‘false negative’.

If symptoms persist despite a negative test result, it would be worthwhile to follow up with your GP. A letter will be provided by the nurse carrying out the test today. It is important that no changes are made to the diet until your GP or other healthcare professional advises otherwise.


Are there any risks associated with the test?

The possible risks associated with this test include momentary discomfort at the site of blood draw, possible bruising, redness and swelling around the site, bleeding at the site, feeling of light- headedness when the blood is drawn, and rarely, an infection at the site of blood draw.


Will any of my data or test result be stored?

The results of the test will be handled confidentially by the registered nurse who is administering the test and discussed only with the individual. The results will not be stored by Dr Schär.

The consent form for the test will be stored by Dr Schär for a period of five (5) years for the sole purpose of documenting an individual’s consent to the testing. It is possible for the individual to contact Dr Schär at any time with a request to inspect, correct any mistakes or request deletions of any personal data, at no cost to the individual, at the address below:

Dr Schär UK Ltd, Ground Floor, 401 Faraday Street, Birchwood Park, Warrington WA3 6GA