Flow cytometric characterization of cecal appendix lymphocyte subpopulations in children: a pilot study
Keywords: 
B-lymphocytes
Flow cytometry
NK-lymphocytes
Pediatric acute appendicitis
T-lymphocytes
Issue Date: 
2023
ISSN: 
0179-0358
Note: 
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Citation: 
Arredondo Montero, J.; López, A. T.; Ilzarbe, G. H.; et al. "Flow cytometric characterization of cecal appendix lymphocyte subpopulations in children: a pilot study". Pediatric Surgery International. 39 (1), 2023, 274
Abstract
IntroductionScientific literature regarding the characterization of lymphocyte subpopulations of the cecal appendix is sparse, with few precedents limited to immunohistochemical techniques.MethodsWe conducted a prospective pilot study to characterize lymphocyte subpopulations of the cecal appendix in children. Participants were divided into three groups: (1) patients without histological acute appendiceal inflammation, (2) patients with histological uncomplicated acute appendicitis, and (3) patients with histological complicated acute appendicitis (gangrenous, perforated). A fresh sample of the base of the appendix was taken from all patients and a flow cytometric study was performed. Quantitative variables were compared using Kruskal-Wallis test and Mann-Whitney U test.ResultsThis study included 57 patients divided into Group 1 (n = 5), Group 2 (n = 37), and Group 3 (n = 15). Median values (IQR) of the percentage of B-lymphocytes were 67.8 [66.8-68.1] in group 1, 61.15 [53.74-66.4] in group 2, and 52.1 [33-62.02] in group 3 (p = 0.02). Median values (IQR) of the percentage of NK-lymphocytes were 0.26 [0.2-0.3] in group 1, 0.55 [0.37-0.66] in group 2, and 0.84 [0.35-1.45] in group 3 (p = 0.008). Median values (IQR) of the percentage of T-lymphocytes were 31.9 [31.7-33.1] in group 1, 37.68 [32.15-45.69] in group 2, and 46.9 [37.03-67] in group 3 (p = 0.02). Pair comparisons of groups 2 and 3 also showed significant differences in the percentage of B lymphocytes (p = 0.03) and NK-lymphocytes (p = 0.02).ConclusionsSignificant differences in lymphocyte subpopulations were identified according to the histologic grade of the cecal appendix. More specifically, a lower percentage of B-lymphocytes and a higher percentage of T- and NK-lymphocytes were observed in cases of acute appendicitis. These findings must be confirmed and their etiopathogenic, diagnostic, and prognostic implications elucidated in future studies with larger sample sizes.

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