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Urine Biomarkers Discovered for Acute Appendicitis

Last Updated: June 24, 2009.

The presence of certain protein biomarkers in the urine may be useful in the diagnosis of acute appendicitis, which can present with varied symptoms, according to a study reported online June 24 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

WEDNESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of certain protein biomarkers in the urine may be useful in the diagnosis of acute appendicitis, which can present with varied symptoms, according to a study reported online June 24 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Alex Kentsis, M.D., of Children's Hospital Boston, and colleagues used mass spectrometry proteome profiling to identify 57 potential protein biomarkers for appendicitis in the urine of children with confirmed appendicitis diagnoses. These biomarkers were then used in a blinded study to diagnose appendicitis in a study group of 67 children (median age of 11 years), who were being evaluated for acute abdominal pain. The validity of the biomarkers was evaluated against the diagnosis or non-diagnosis of appendicitis in the study group.

Of the 57 markers tested, those that demonstrated diagnostic performance included calgranulin A (S100-A8), α-1-acid glycoprotein 1 (orosomucoid), and leucine-rich α-2-glycoprotein (LRG). The researchers found that the amount of LRG in the appendix also correlated with appendicitis severity.

"High-accuracy mass spectrometry urine proteome profiling allowed identification of diagnostic markers of acute appendicitis. Usage of LRG and other identified biomarkers may improve the diagnostic accuracy of clinical evaluations of appendicitis," the authors conclude.

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