The persistence or recurrence of symptoms in patients with coeliac disease (CD), despite a gluten-free diet (GFD), must prompt further work-up for excluding refractory CD (RCD). The aim of this study was to assess the accuracy of serum markers in predicting refractoriness in CD patients. This study included 72 patients affected by CD followed-up at our center, namely 49 uncomplicated CD before and after GFD and 23 RCD. Serum levels of chromogranin A (CgA) and β2-microglobuline were measured at baseline and at follow-up (median time of 13 months) in each group of patients. Cut-off points for each marker were estimated to differentiate RCD from uncomplicated CD patients. Serum levels of CgA and β2-microglobuline were significantly higher in patients with RCD compared to uncomplicated CD (p < 0.001), both at baseline and at follow-up, with no significant difference between RCD type 1 and type 2. The estimated cut-off point for CgA was 90.2 ng/mL (sensitivity 83%, specificity 100%), while for β2-microglobuline it was 696 mcg/L (sensitivity 100%, specificity of 100%). To conclude, CgA and β2-microglobuline could be useful serological markers of refractoriness in CD, with the ability to discriminate those patients who should undergo upper gastrointestinal endoscopy for making a definite diagnosis.
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