Link between appendicitis and allergies discovered

August 7, 2018, Lund University

Children with allergies have a lower risk of developing complicated appendicitis, according to a new study from Lund University and Skåne University Hospital in Sweden. The findings, now published in JAMA Pediatrics, could pave the way for new diagnostic tools in the future.

"In a study of all the who underwent for appendicitis in Lund, Sweden, over the span of a decade, we found that the most common form of allergy, such as allergy to pollen and animal fur, was associated with a three times lower risk of developing complicated appendicitis. The lower risk remained when we adjusted for other parameters known to increase the risk of serious appendicitis, such as lower age and long-lasting symptoms," says Martin Salö, a researcher at Lund University and physician at Skåne University Hospital.

Appendicitis is widespread among children and young people, and the condition is the most common cause of emergency abdominal surgery in the world.

One third of children affected have a more complicated form of appendicitis which requires a longer stay and sometimes several surgeries. It is not yet clear why some children are affected by this more serious form of appendicitis, nor whether it is possible to prevent it.

One theory holds that complicated appendicitis depends on the body's immunological response differing to the response in cases of uncomplicated appendicitis. According to this theory, children with allergies have a lower risk of contracting complicated appendicitis, because their immunological response is different from that of non-allergic children. However, this had not been investigated more closely until now.

"The outcome of the study supports the theory that complicated appendicitis has a different immunological development compared to uncomplicated appendicitis. The results also provide clues that we hope can lead to the development of new diagnostic aids such as blood tests," concludes Martin Salö.

The study in brief:

The study included all children under the age of 15 who underwent surgery for appendicitis at Skåne University Hospital in Lund between 2007 and 2017. In total, 605 children were part of the study. The researchers compared the outcomes for children with what is known as IgE-mediated allergy (102 children) with those for children without this allergy (503 children). Among the children with IgE-mediated allergy, 19.6% contracted more complicated appendicitis. In the group of children with no IgE-mediated , 46.9% were affected.

Explore further: Extended-spectrum antibiotics no benefit for pediatric appendicitis

More information: Martin Salö et al. Association of IgE-Mediated Allergy With Risk of Complicated Appendicitis in a Pediatric Population, JAMA Pediatrics (2018). DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.1634

Related Stories

Extended-spectrum antibiotics no benefit for pediatric appendicitis

July 1, 2016
(HealthDay)—For children diagnosed with appendicitis undergoing appendectomy, extended-spectrum antibiotics seem to offer no advantage over narrower-spectrum agents, according to a study published online June 28 in Pediatrics.

Increased risk of appendicitis one week after colonoscopy

January 31, 2018
(HealthDay)—The risk of appendicitis is increased in the week following colonoscopy, according to a research letter published in the January issue of JAMA Surgery.

Technique developed to improve appendicitis care for pediatric patients

March 13, 2018
Researchers from Children's Minnesota (Children's) and HealthPartners Institute have developed a new pediatric appendicitis risk calculator (pARC) to aid in the diagnosis of appendicitis. The calculator was developed as part ...

Support for ultrasound first in pediatric appendicitis diagnosis

December 14, 2013
(HealthDay)—During the transition to an ultrasound-first paradigm for imaging acute appendicitis in pediatric patients, there does not seem to be any increase in complicated appendicitis diagnoses or a longer median hospital ...

Risk score may help in the care of patients with suspected appendicitis

July 24, 2017
A new study indicates that a classification system based on patient symptoms and basic lab tests can reduce the need for diagnostic imaging, hospital admissions, and surgery in patients with suspected appendicitis.

Analysis of antibiotics, appendectomy for uncomplicated appendicitis in kids

March 27, 2017
An analysis of several studies including 404 pediatric patients suggests antibiotic treatment for acute uncomplicated appendicitis was safe and effective in the majority of patients but the risk that antibiotic treatment ...

Recommended for you

Researchers uncover immune cell dysfunction linked to photosensitivity

August 16, 2018
Researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) have discovered that a type of immune cell known as Langerhans appears to play an important role in photosensitivity, an immune system reaction to sunlight that can trigger ...

Chemicals found in vegetables prevent colon cancer in mice

August 14, 2018
Chemicals produced by vegetables such as kale, cabbage and broccoli could help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent colon cancer, a new study from the Francis Crick Institute shows.

Researchers artificially generate immune cells integral to creating cancer vaccines

August 14, 2018
For the first time, Mount Sinai researchers have identified a way to make large numbers of immune cells that can help prevent cancer reoccurrence, according to a study published in August in Cell Reports.

Doctors may be able to enlist a mysterious enzyme to stop internal bleeding

August 14, 2018
Blood platelets are like the sand bags of the body. Got a cut? Platelets pile in to clog the hole and stop the bleeding.

Cannabis link to relieving intestinal inflammation explained

August 13, 2018
Reports from cannabis users that the drug reduces the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may finally be explained by new research from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Bath showing ...

Team finds missing immune cells that could fight lethal brain tumors

August 13, 2018
Glioblastoma brain tumors can have an unusual effect on the body's immune system, often causing a dramatic drop in the number of circulating T-cells that help drive the body's defenses.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.