Do children with IgE-mediated allergy have a lower risk of complicated appendicitis?
In this cohort study of 605 children undergoing appendectomy, those with IgE-mediated allergy had a 3 times lower risk of complicated appendicitis compared with those without allergy.
These findings present previously unknown risk factors for complicated appendicitis and shed light on pathogenesis and clinical detection of adverse outcomes.
Childhood appendicitis is commonly complicated by gangrene and perforation, yet the causes of complicated appendicitis and how to avoid it remain unknown.
To investigate whether children with IgE-mediated allergy have a lower risk of complicated appendicitis.
Design, Setting, and Participants
This retrospective cohort study included all consecutive patients younger than 15 years (hereinafter referred to as children) who underwent appendectomy for acute appendicitis at a tertiary pediatric surgery center in Sweden between January 1, 2007, through July 31, 2017. Children were stratified between those with and without IgE-mediated allergies.
Main Outcome and Measures
Risk of complicated appendicitis with gangrene or perforation, with occurrence of IgE-mediated allergy as an independent variable and adjusted for age, sex, primary health care contacts, seasonal antigenic exposure, allergy medications, appendicolith, and duration of symptoms.
Of 605 included children (63.0% boys; median age, 10 years; interquartile range, 7-12 years), 102 (16.9%) had IgE-mediated allergy and 503 (83.1%) had no allergy. Complicated appendicitis occurred in 20 children with IgE-mediated allergy (19.6%) compared with 236 with no allergy (46.9%; adjusted odds ratio, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.18-0.59). No significant allergy effect modification by sex, seasonal antigenic exposure, or allergy medication was found. Children with IgE-mediated allergy had a shorter hospital stay (median, 2 days for both groups; interquartile range, 1-2 days vs 1-5 days; P = .004).
Conclusions and Relevance
In this study, children with IgE-mediated allergy had a lower risk of complicated appendicitis. The findings suggest that immunologic disposition modifies the clinical pattern of appendiceal disease. This theory introduces novel opportunities for understanding of the pathogenesis and clinical decision making for one of childhood’s most common surgical emergencies.
Salö M, Gudjonsdottir J, Omling E, Hagander L, Stenström P. Association of IgE-Mediated Allergy With Risk of Complicated Appendicitis in a Pediatric Population. JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(10):943–948. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.1634
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