Is neopterin a diagnostic marker of acute appendicitis?

Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2012 Jan;18(1):1-4. doi: 10.5505/tjtes.2011.00087.


Background: The diagnosis of acute appendicitis, even for experienced surgeons, can sometimes be complex. A delay in diagnosis increases the complication rate. This experimental study aimed to investigate the suitability and significance of neopterin as a marker for acute appendicitis.

Methods: The levels of neopterin were measured using an acute appendicitis animal model in 35 New Zealand male rabbits. They were divided into 5 groups as Group 1= control; Group 2= sham; and Groups 3 (12-hour); 4 (24-hour); and 5 (48-hour) (based on the elapsed time period before their appendectomies). The neopterin levels of each group were measured by neopterin enzyme immunoassay kit in blood samples (taken before the appendectomies in Groups 3, 4 and 5).

Results: For the diagnosis of acute appendicitis, the optimal cut-off point was 34.475 nmol/L. The probability of acute appendicitis was found to be 4.667 times higher when the neopterin level was greater than 34.475 nmol/L.

Conclusion: This study was an experimental animal study; however, it provides valuable clues useful in clinical assessment. Neopterin seems to have great potential as a new diagnostic marker for the diagnosis of acute appendicitis.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Appendicitis / blood
  • Appendicitis / diagnosis*
  • Appendicitis / surgery
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Male
  • Neopterin / blood*
  • Rabbits


  • Biomarkers
  • Neopterin