Diagnosis of acute appendicitis still challenging. The aim of this study is to test the diagnostic value of baseline and early change of C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations, evaluated separately or in combination with the modified Alvarado score (MAS), in patients with clinically suspected acute appendicitis.
This is a prospective observational study including all patients presenting to the emergency department with an equivocal diagnosis of acute appendicitis. After inclusion, clinical and demographic data are recorded and blood samples were taken at baseline and 3 hours after for serum CRP measurements (3 hour CRP). The MAS is also calculated for all patients. The ultimate diagnosis of appendicitis was based on the histologic findings of the excised appendix in operated patients and clinical follow-up in emergency department discharged patients. Diagnostic accuracy of admission CRP, early change of CRP 3 hour CRP minous admission CRP, MAS and the combination of these parameters was expressed by sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and area under receiver operating characteristics curve.
500 patients were included from January 2010 to December 2013. Overall, 387 patients were operated the negative appendectomy rate was 8,3%. CRP concentrations were significantly higher in patients with acute appendicitis. However, the diagnostic value of admission CRP, delta CRP and MAS was moderate with area under RO C curve respectively equal to 0.63, 0.53 and 0.6. Combining admission CRP and delta CRP values to MAS did not result in a better performance. The area under RO C curve did not exceed 0.7 with the different combinations.
Early change of CRP has a moderate diagnostic value in patients with clinically suspected acute appendicitis. Combining CRP values to MAS did not improve diagnostic accuracy.