Mastocytosis 4.43/5 (7)

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Mastocytosis in the skin

Urticaria pigmentosa in mastocytosis. Magliaconr D, Translational medicine @unisa, 2014. openi. CC BY NC 3.0


Mastocytosis a rare skin or blood disorder in which large accumulations of mast cells (a type of white blood cell) is detected in the skin and / or other organs. Systemic mastocytosis, which accounts for most cases, usually has a genetic mutation in hereditary genes.

Children with mastocytosis are investigated and treated by specialist pediatric patients (pediatrics), adults with a specialist in blood disorders (hematologist).

Mastocytosis triggers episodes of allergy-like symptoms, including stomach pain with diarrhea, exhaustion and mood swings occur


Mastocytosis is defined as one rare disease.


Mastocytosis in the skin

Children most often have symptoms that are limited to the skin in the form of severe itching, eczema and "flushing»(Episodes of strong red and warm skin). Most people get symptoms already in their first year of life. The symptoms usually return within adulthood

  • The symptoms are often triggered by physical irritation ( Dari sign) or heat

Urticaria pigmentosa are the most common form of skin manifestation in children and adults. Typically, yellow-red-brownish spots may be slightly swollen. They can be misinterpreted as freckles. There are also other forms of disease that attack the skin

  • More unusual is hives (urticaria) or angioedema
    • Consider allergies and other causes of illness

Systemic mastocytosis

Systemic mastocytosis is the most common form among adults (95%)

Triggering factors

  • Heat or cold
  • Acute stress (physical, emotional)
  • Alcohol or strong spices
  • Medications (Acetylsalicylic acid / ASA, NSAIDs)
  • Infections
  • Anesthesia, Narcosis, Operations
  • Insect bites

Blood tests


The diagnosis is based on a combination of the following:

  • Symptoms
  • Exclusion of other common causes
  • Tryptase is too high in the blood
  • Tissue sample
  • Use of criteria (see below)
  • Genetic test for KIT mutation

Criteria for diagnosis

Criterion for diagnosis is based on tissue sample, special blood cell test and Tryptase (at least one main criterion or three sub-criteria) (Reference: Leguit R, 2019)

Main Criterion

  • Dense infiltrate of more than 15 mast cells in tissue sample (biopsy) from bone marrow or other non-skin organ

under Criteria

  • Detection of unusual mast cells (positive for CD2 and / or CD25)
  • Detection of unusual mast cells (coil-shaped)
  • Detection of mutation in KIT (D816V)
  • Tryptase in blood sample greater than 20 ng / ml

Mastocytosis. Mikkelsen CS, Dermatologic reports, 2014. Openi. CC BY NC 3.0

Other mast cell diseases

Incorrect diagnosis (similar conditions, differential diagnoses)


No treatment with drugs ensures full relief of symptoms.


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