Coeliac disease is underdiagnosed partly because of insufficient recognition of more subtle presentations and partly because of the relative difficulty of jejunal biopsy. We have compared new case detection of small intestinal villous atrophy in the 5 years following changing to endoscopic multiple biopsy with our preceding 9 year experience utilizing jejunal capsule suction biopsy. The detection rate for small intestinal disease doubled while the number of patients investigated by small bowel biopsy increased threefold. We recommend that endoscopic duodenal biopsy replace jejunal biopsy for routine diagnostic purposes.
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