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Mastocytosis and Allergic Diseases


P Bonadonna,1 C Lombardo,1 R Zanotti2

1Allergy Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata Verona, Piazzale Stefani, Verona, Italy
2Department of Medicine, Section of Hematology, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata Verona, Verona, Italy

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2014; Vol. 24(5): 288-297



Mastocytosis is a clonal disorder characterized by proliferation and accumulation of mast cells in various tissues, mainly skin and bone marrow. It can cause a wide variety of clinical manifestations—other than urticaria pigmentosa—that can lead to inappropriate release of mediators by mast cells. The most severe manifestation is anaphylaxis. The triggers of anaphylaxis in adults with mastocytosis are numerous, but Hymenoptera stings seem to be the most frequent, followed by foods and drugs. Therefore, to prevent severe reactions, it is very important to recognize and avoid potential triggers; in addition, venom-allergic patients must receive lifelong immunotherapy, which has proven very effective. Given that published data on drug anaphylaxis in patients with mast cell disorders are scarce, it is not currently possible to provide clear recommendations. The risk of systemic reactions during general anesthesia can be reduced by assessing risk on an individual basis (previous reaction to a drug or reaction during surgery) and by avoiding specific trigger factors (patient temperature changes, infusion of cold solution, tissue trauma, friction, and other mechanical factors).

Key words: Clonal mast cell diseases. Anaphylaxis. Tryptase. Drug allergy. Hymenoptera venom allergy. REMA score. Immunotherapy.