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Mast cell activation syndrome: Myths and realities

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Background:

Mast cells (MCs) have been implicated in a spectrum of allergic, immunologic, and infectious inflammatory conditions that involve different organ systems. MC activation can occur through several different surface receptors other than the well known IgE mediated pathway.

Methods:

We use two representative case reports from our practice to summarize what is currently known about MCAS disorders (reality) so that the clinician can more easily differentiate these conditions from other complex unexplained conditions that are being associated with MC activation (myth).

Results:

Many complex MC-related conditions, such as clonal MC diseases, have been well characterized but other MC-related disorders, such as MC activation syndrome (MCAS) and idiopathic anaphylaxis, still remain poorly defined. The current consensus recommendations for a diagnosis of MCAS require clinical symptoms of anaphylaxis that correlate with elevation of a MC activation biomarker(s), which improves with H1-antihistamines.

Conclusion:

Clinical symptoms of MCAS can overlap with other conditions, including neurogenic disorders, e.g., dysautonomia, which necessitate the importance for the clinician to render an accurate diagnosis so that appropriate treatment is provided.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2021

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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