Simple Appendicitis test in development

Appendicitis is basically the inflammation of a considerable small pouch connected to the colon. Obstruction and infection could be causes for appendicitis; however for a large number of cases the causes are still unclear. A ruptured appendix can cause fatal and immense complications such as blood poisoning. Therefore it is considered a medical emergency.

Scientists are hoping to be able to develop a simple urine test that can detect appendicitis.

The Children’s Hospital Boston team has found a certain protein in the urine that could be a detecting sign of appendicitis. This protein is called” leucine rich alpha 2 glycoprotein” LRG, and it was found that levels of this protein, is highly elevated in a diseased appendix, and the more the severity of the disease, the higher the LRG level.

The Boston hospital team used mass spectrometry technique to analyse 11 samples of urine taken from children. They found more than 50 compounds related to the inflammation and immune response that could very much be a significant sign of appendicitis. They also think that it could be possible to develop a urine dipstick test for the protein.

Research show that more than 40% of diagnosed appendicitis cases, are already ruptured appendix, while approximately 30% of children that had appendicitis removal surgery did not really need it.

Appendicitis can sometimes be hard to diagnose, especially when it comes to youngsters. Therefore more tests were further conducted on more 65 children for suspected appendicitis, and they were narrowed to 6 candidates with a possible appendicitis condition.

If a new and simpler method for detecting appendicitis was developed, this would mean a breakthrough for the medical science. It would reduce a great risk of missing a case or the unnecessary surgical removal caused by a wrong diagonal. It would also eliminate the need for CT scans that could expose children to radiation which could increase the risk of cancer.

The researchers admit that those findings can only be applicable to children since the research was based on children, and the pattern could change in older patients. They say that there should be more researches done on adult patients.