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Link between appendicitis and allergies

Friday August 10th, 2018

Children with allergies who undergo surgery for appendicitis are less likely to develop complicated appendicitis, a new study has shown.

Researchers from Lund University and Skåne University Hospital in Sweden believe their findings, now published in JAMA Pediatrics, could lead to the development of new diagnostic tools.

The study included all 605 children under the age of 15 who underwent surgery for appendicitis at Skåne University Hospital in Lund between 2007 and 2017.

The researchers compared the outcomes for the 102 children with IgE-mediated allergy with the 503 children without that allergy.

They found that of the children with IgE-mediated allergy, 19.6% contracted more complicated appendicitis. In the group of children with no IgE-mediated allergy, 46.9% were affected.

Martin Salö, researcher at Lund University and physician at Skåne University Hospital, said: “In a study of all the children who underwent surgery 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.”

Although it is not yet clear why some children are affected by this more serious form of appendicitis, one theory is that it depends on the body's immunological response differing to the response in cases of uncomplicated appendicitis.

“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,” added Salö.

Salö M, Gudjonsdottir J, Omling E et al. Association of IgE-Mediated Allergy With Risk of Complicated Appendicitis in a Pediatric Population. JAMA Pediatrics 6 August 2018; doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.1634

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2694800

Tags: Allergies & Asthma | Child Health | Europe | Internal Medicine

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