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Normal inflammatory markers in appendicitis: evidence from two independent cohort studies.

Vaughan-Shaw PG, Rees JR, Bell E, Hamdan M, Platt T - JRSM Short Rep (2011)

Bottom Line: A total of 297 patients were included.The specificity was 60% (centre A) and 64% (centre B).No single marker could differentiate uncomplicated and complicated appendicitis, but a raised NC or a CRP >35.5 mg/l predicted complicated appendicitis.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Lower GI Surgery, Southampton University Hospitals Foundation Trust , Southampton , UK.

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Acute appendicitis is a common surgical condition which can lead to severe complications. Recent work suggested that patients experiencing right lower abdominal pain, with normal white cell count (WCC) and C-reactive protein (CRP) are unlikely to have acute appendicitis and can be discharged. We present two independent data-sets that suggest that this strategy may not be risk-free.

Design: Retrospective cohort study of consecutive patients from two district general hospitals. Sensitivity and specificity of CRP, WCC and neutrophil count (NC) in predicting appendicitis were calculated. Markers were analysed using Fisher's exact test and Kruskul-Wallace test.

Setting: Two district general hospitals in the UK.

Participants: Patients undergoing appendicectomy for suspected appendicitis.

Main outcome measures: Inflammatory markers and appendix histology.

Results: A total of 297 patients were included. Appendicitis occurred in four patients with normal CRP, WCC and NC in centre A and 13 patients in centre B. The sensitivity of all three markers combined was 94% (centre A) and 92% (centre B). The specificity was 60% (centre A) and 64% (centre B). No single marker could differentiate uncomplicated and complicated appendicitis, but a raised NC or a CRP >35.5 mg/l predicted complicated appendicitis. CRP, WCC and NC combined differentiated between patients with a normal appendix, uncomplicated appendicitis and complicated appendicitis.

Conclusions: Appendicitis in the presence of normal inflammatory markers is not uncommon. We disagree with the view of Sengupta et al. who suggest that patients with normal WCC and CRP are unlikely to have appendicitis, and recommend that clinicians be wary of normal inflammatory markers in patients with a high clinical suspicion of appendicitis.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Graph of mean (Dark circle) and standard deviation (Error bars) of absolute CRP (mg/l), WCC (× 109/l) and NC (× 109/l) for A) Patients with a histologically normal appendix, B) Patients with uncomplicated appendicitis and C) Patients with complicated appendicitis
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SHORTS-10-114F1: Graph of mean (Dark circle) and standard deviation (Error bars) of absolute CRP (mg/l), WCC (× 109/l) and NC (× 109/l) for A) Patients with a histologically normal appendix, B) Patients with uncomplicated appendicitis and C) Patients with complicated appendicitis

Mentions: With both data-sets combined, Kruskul-Wallace test analysis of absolute values for WCC and NC demonstrated statistical significant difference in CRP, WCC and NC between patients in the three categories: normal appendix; uncomplicated appendicitis; and complicated appendicitis (Figure 1, Table 4). However, testing with Dunn's multiple comparisons demonstrates that no marker can significantly differentiate uncomplicated and complicated appendicitis. When used as categorical variables (i.e. marker raised or normal), Fisher's exact test demonstrates that NC, but not CRP or WCC has some ability to predict complicated appendicitis. A recursive approach indicated that CRP >35.5 mg/l or above could predict complicated appendicitis (P = 0.0366). However no WCC cut-off was found to predict complicated appendicitis.


Normal inflammatory markers in appendicitis: evidence from two independent cohort studies.

Vaughan-Shaw PG, Rees JR, Bell E, Hamdan M, Platt T - JRSM Short Rep (2011)

Graph of mean (Dark circle) and standard deviation (Error bars) of absolute CRP (mg/l), WCC (× 109/l) and NC (× 109/l) for A) Patients with a histologically normal appendix, B) Patients with uncomplicated appendicitis and C) Patients with complicated appendicitis
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3105453&req=5

SHORTS-10-114F1: Graph of mean (Dark circle) and standard deviation (Error bars) of absolute CRP (mg/l), WCC (× 109/l) and NC (× 109/l) for A) Patients with a histologically normal appendix, B) Patients with uncomplicated appendicitis and C) Patients with complicated appendicitis
Mentions: With both data-sets combined, Kruskul-Wallace test analysis of absolute values for WCC and NC demonstrated statistical significant difference in CRP, WCC and NC between patients in the three categories: normal appendix; uncomplicated appendicitis; and complicated appendicitis (Figure 1, Table 4). However, testing with Dunn's multiple comparisons demonstrates that no marker can significantly differentiate uncomplicated and complicated appendicitis. When used as categorical variables (i.e. marker raised or normal), Fisher's exact test demonstrates that NC, but not CRP or WCC has some ability to predict complicated appendicitis. A recursive approach indicated that CRP >35.5 mg/l or above could predict complicated appendicitis (P = 0.0366). However no WCC cut-off was found to predict complicated appendicitis.

Bottom Line: A total of 297 patients were included.The specificity was 60% (centre A) and 64% (centre B).No single marker could differentiate uncomplicated and complicated appendicitis, but a raised NC or a CRP >35.5 mg/l predicted complicated appendicitis.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Lower GI Surgery, Southampton University Hospitals Foundation Trust , Southampton , UK.

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Acute appendicitis is a common surgical condition which can lead to severe complications. Recent work suggested that patients experiencing right lower abdominal pain, with normal white cell count (WCC) and C-reactive protein (CRP) are unlikely to have acute appendicitis and can be discharged. We present two independent data-sets that suggest that this strategy may not be risk-free.

Design: Retrospective cohort study of consecutive patients from two district general hospitals. Sensitivity and specificity of CRP, WCC and neutrophil count (NC) in predicting appendicitis were calculated. Markers were analysed using Fisher's exact test and Kruskul-Wallace test.

Setting: Two district general hospitals in the UK.

Participants: Patients undergoing appendicectomy for suspected appendicitis.

Main outcome measures: Inflammatory markers and appendix histology.

Results: A total of 297 patients were included. Appendicitis occurred in four patients with normal CRP, WCC and NC in centre A and 13 patients in centre B. The sensitivity of all three markers combined was 94% (centre A) and 92% (centre B). The specificity was 60% (centre A) and 64% (centre B). No single marker could differentiate uncomplicated and complicated appendicitis, but a raised NC or a CRP >35.5 mg/l predicted complicated appendicitis. CRP, WCC and NC combined differentiated between patients with a normal appendix, uncomplicated appendicitis and complicated appendicitis.

Conclusions: Appendicitis in the presence of normal inflammatory markers is not uncommon. We disagree with the view of Sengupta et al. who suggest that patients with normal WCC and CRP are unlikely to have appendicitis, and recommend that clinicians be wary of normal inflammatory markers in patients with a high clinical suspicion of appendicitis.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus