Which clinical history findings are characteristic of mastocytosis?

Updated: Sep 16, 2020
  • Author: Jacquiline Habashy, DO, MSc; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Mastocytosis patients may present with cutaneous lesions, systemic symptoms of an acute nature, and/or chronic systemic symptoms.

Most patients have pruritic cutaneous lesions. Some patients, especially those with extensive cutaneous disease, experience acute systemic symptoms exacerbated by certain activities or ingestion of certain drugs or foods. Possible systemic symptoms include flushing, headache, dyspnea, wheezing, rhinorrhea, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and syncope.

Patients also may have chronic systemic symptoms involving various organ systems. Involvement of the skeletal system may be manifested as bone pain or the new onset of a fracture. Long-term exposure to heparin and stem cell factor from degranulated mast cells is believed to put patients at risk for osteoporosis. [31]  Involvement of the central nervous system may produce neuropsychiatric symptoms, as well as nonspecific changes such as malaise and irritability. GI involvement may yield weight loss, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, and abdominal cramps. Cardiovascular effects can include shock, syncope (resulting from vascular dilatation), or angina. Anaphylactic reactions to hymenoptera stings may be the first sign of mastocytosis. [32]

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