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Mastocytosis is a complex heterogenous multisystem disorder that is characterized by pathologic activation or accumulation of neoplastic mast cells (MCs) in one or more organs. This clonal MC expansion is often associated with a somatic gain-of-function mutation (D816V in most of the cases) in the KIT gene, encoding for the MC surface receptor KIT (CD117), a stem cell growth factor receptor. Based on clinical and biochemical criteria, the World Health Organization (WHO) divided mastocytosis into different subclasses. The exact prevalence of mastocytosis remains elusive, but it is estimated that the disease affects approximately 1 in 10,000 persons. The clinical presentation of mastocytosis varies significantly, ranging from asymptomatic patients to a life-threatening disease with multiple organ involvement, potentially leading to cytopenia, malabsorption, hepatosplenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, ascites or osteolytic bone lesions with pathological fractures. Patients with mastocytosis may experience symptoms related to release of MC mediators, such as flushing or diarrhea or even more severe symptoms such as anaphylaxis. Recently, a new genetic trait, hereditary alpha tryptasemia (HaT), was described which involves a copy number variation in the TPSAB1-gene. Its role as standalone multisystem syndrome is heavily debated. There is emerging evidence suggesting there might be a link between HaT and due to the increased prevalence of HaT in patients with SM. The aim of this review is to provide a practical roadmap for diagnosis and management of mastocytosis and its associated entities, since there are still many misconceptions about these topics.Abbreviations: AdvSM: Advanced systemic mastocytosis; ASM: Aggressive systemic mastocytosis; aST: acute serum tryptase; BM: Bone marrow; BMM: Bone marrow mastocytosis; bST: baseline serum tryptase; CM: Cutaneous mastocytosis; DCM: Diffuse cutaneous mastocytosis; HVA: Hymenoptera venom allergy; HaT: Hereditary alpha tryptasemia; ISM: Indolent systemic mastocytosis; MC: Mast cell; MCA: Mast cell activation; MCAS: Mast cell activation syndrome; MCL: Mast cell leukemia; MIS: Mastocytosis in the skin; MMAS: Monoclonal mast cell activation syndrome; MPCM: Maculopapular cutaneous mastocytosis; SM: Systemic mastocytosis; SM-AHN: Systemic mastocytosis with associated hematological neoplasm; SSM: Smouldering systemic mastocytosis; VIT: Venom immunotherapy.


Michiel Beyens, Jessy Elst, Marie-Line van der Poorten, Athina Van Gasse, Alessandro Toscano, Anke Verlinden, Katrien Vermeulen, Marie-Berthe Maes, J N G Hanneke Oude Elberink, Didier Ebo, Vito Sabato. Mastocytosis and related entities: a practical roadmap. Acta clinica Belgica. 2023 Aug;78(4):325-335

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PMID: 36259506

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