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Clin Exp Immunol. 2006 Jan;143(1):117-24.

Different cytokine profiles in patients with a history of gangrenous or phlegmonous appendicitis.

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Division of Surgery, Department of Biomedicine and Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.


Appendicitis is one of the most common and costly acute abdominal states of illnesses. Previous studies suggest two types of appendicitis which may be different entities, one which may resolve spontaneously and another that progresses to gangrene and perforation. Gangrenous appendicitis has a positive association to states of Th1 mediated immunity whereas Th2 associated immune states are associated with lower risk of appendicitis. This study investigated the inflammatory response pattern in patients previously appendicectomized for gangrenous (n = 7), or phlegmonous appendicitis (n = 8) and those with a non-inflamed appendix (n = 5). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were analysed with ELISPOT analysis for number of spontaneous or antigen/mitogen stimulated IFN-gamma, IL-4, IL-10 and IL-12 secreting cells or with ELISA for concentration of spontaneous or antigen/mitogen stimulated IFN-gamma, IL-5 and IL-10. Spontaneously IL-10 secreting cells/100,000 lymphocytes were increased in the gangrenous group compared to the phlegmonous group (P = 0.015). The median concentration of IL-10 secreted after Tetanus toxoid (TT)-stimulation were higher in the gangrenous group and the control group, than the phlegmonous group (P = 0.048 and P = 0.027, respectively). The median concentration of TT induced IFN-gamma secretion was higher for the gangrenous group compared to both the phlegmonous group and the control group (P = 0.037 and P = 0.003). Individuals with a history of gangrenous appendicitis demonstrated ability to increased IL-10 and IFN-gamma production. The increased IFN-gamma may support the notion of gangrenous appendicitis as an uncontrolled Th1 mediated inflammatory response and increased IL-10 may speculatively indicate the involvement of cytotoxic cells in the progression to perforation.

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