Can urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (U-5-HIAA) be used as an early marker of appendicitis?

Updated: Jul 23, 2018
  • Author: Sandy Craig, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

According to a report by Bolandparvaz et al, measurement of the urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (U-5-HIAA) levels could be an early marker of appendicitis. [6]  The rationale of such measurement is related to the large amount of serotonin-secreting cells in the appendix. The investigators noted that U-5-HIAA levels increased significantly in acute appendicitis, decreasing when the inflammation shifted to necrosis of the appendix. [6]  Therefore, such decrease could be an early warning sign of perforation of the appendix.


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