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PLoS One. 2018 Mar 12;13(3):e0193563. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0193563. eCollection 2018.

Metabolomic and inflammatory mediator based biomarker profiling as a potential novel method to aid pediatric appendicitis identification.

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Bio-NMR Center, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
Department of Pediatrics, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Department of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.


Various limitations hinder the timely and accurate diagnosis of appendicitis in pediatric patients. The present study aims to investigate the potential of metabolomics and cytokine profiling for improving the diagnosis of pediatric appendicitis. Serum and plasma samples were collected from pediatric patients for metabolic and inflammatory mediator analyses respectively. Targeted metabolic profiling was performed using Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Flow Injection Analysis Mass Spectrometry/Mass Spectrometry and targeted cytokine/chemokine profiling was completed using a multiplex platform to compare children with and without appendicitis. Twenty-three children with appendicitis and 35 control children without appendicitis from the Alberta Sepsis Network pediatric cohorts were included. Metabolomic profiling revealed clear separation between the two groups with very good sensitivity (80%), specificity (97%), and AUROC (0.93 ± 0.05) values. Inflammatory mediator analysis also distinguished the two groups with high sensitivity (82%), specificity (100%), and AUROC (0.97 ± 0.02) values. A biopattern comprised of 9 metabolites and 7 inflammatory compounds was detected to be significant for the separation between appendicitis and control groups. Integration of these 16 significant compounds resulted in a combined metabolic and cytokine profile that also demonstrated strong separation between the two groups with 81% sensitivity, 100% specificity and AUROC value of 0.96 ± 0.03. The study demonstrated that metabolomics and cytokine mediator profiling is capable of distinguishing children with appendicitis from those without. These results suggest a potential new approach for improving the identification of appendicitis in children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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