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J Pediatr Surg. 2005 Sep;40(9):1436-9.

Spot urine 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid levels in the early diagnosis of acute appendicitis.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, Firat University Faculty of Medicine, Elazig 23119, Turkey.



The significance of spot urine 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) levels in the early diagnosis of acute appendicitis (AA) is questioned.


Forty young, pigmented, male rabbits were divided into 4 groups. Groups are summarized as follows: group 1, control (n = 10); group 2, laparotomy, sham (n = 10); group 3, peritonitis with cecal ligation and puncture (n = 10); and group 4, experimental appendicitis (n = 10). Spot urine samples were obtained for 5-HIAA determination, and appendectomy materials were examined histopathologically and peritoneal fluid cultures were obtained after 12 hours in the study groups. The results were analyzed statistically with 1-way analysis of variance and Scheffé and Tukey's HSD tests.


The mean 5-HIAA levels in the control group was 5.7 +/- 0.6 mg/L, whereas it is 5.9 +/- 0.9 mg/L, 6.6 +/- 0.6 mg/L, 9.4 +/- 0.9 mg/L in the sham, peritonitis, and appendicitis groups, respectively. The levels of 5-HIAA in the appendicitis group were higher than those in the other groups, which was statistically significant (P < .001).


Spot urine 5-HIAA determination may be a practical, objective, and noninvasive method in the early diagnosis of AA. Because other radiological and laboratory tests can be insufficient, especially in the early period of AA, this test may be used effectively instead. Clinical studies are necessary for further conclusions.

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