Background Hyperbilirubinaemia is reported to be a positive predictor in diagnosing appendicitis and especially appendiceal perforation. We, therefore, analysed the diagnostic accuracy of serum bilirubin in anticipating appendicitis and its severity.
Methods All consecutive patients undergoing appendectomy for suspected appendicitis from May 2009 to August 2011 were analysed. Patients were classified based on final histopathological findings into the groups: no appendiceal inflammation, non-perforated appendicitis and perforated appendicitis. Primary outcome was the diagnostic accuracy of serum bilirubin levels in discriminating between no appendiceal inflammation and any appendicitis (perforated and non-perforated appendicitis) and non-perforated and perforated appendicitis.
Results Of 493 analysed patients, 125 (25%) had no appendiceal inflammation, 312 (64%) had non-perforated appendicitis and 56 (11%) had perforated appendicitis. The proportion of patients with bilirubin elevation (>1.1 mg/dL) was different between those with no appendiceal inflammation (14%) and any appendicitis (36%) (p<0.0001), and between non-perforated appendicitis and perforated appendicitis 48% (p=0.04). However, the positive and negative likelihood ratios (LRs) for an elevated bilirubin were poor at discriminating the groups: no appendiceal inflammation versus any appendicitis (LR+ 2.62 (95% CI 1.65 to 4.16) and LR− 0.75 (95% CI 0.67 to 0.83)) and non-perforated appendicitis versus perforated appendicitis (LR+ estimate 1.74 (95% CI 1.28 to 2.38) and LR− 0.72 (95% CI 0.55 to 0.93)).
Conclusions Hyperbilirubinaemia is present in acute appendicitis but has a low diagnostic accuracy in discriminating between any appendicitis versus no appendiceal inflammation and perforated versus non-perforated appendicitis and is, therefore, of limited value in clinical routine.
Trial registration number NCT01698099.
- abdomen- non trauma, gastro-intestinal
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.