Tryptase detection in bone-marrow blood: A new diagnostic tool in systemic mastocytosis
The condition mastocytosis includes a heterogenous group of disorders that are characterized by abnormal growth and accumulation of mast cells. The detection of serum tryptase, an essential mast cell enzyme, is a widely used tool in the diagnosis of mastocytosis. The diagnosis of systemic mastocytosis is substantially based on the histologic examination of bone-marrow biopsy specimens.
We hypothesized that the detection of tryptase in bone-marrow blood might provide additional, more sensitive information on the bone-marrow involvement of patients with mastocytosis.
Serum tryptase was monitored in patients with cutaneous symptoms (n = 17), patients with extracutaneous symptoms (n = 16), and healthy control subjects (n = 359). Bone-marrow biopsy specimens of patients with systemic mastocytosis (n = 7) and control subjects (n = 7) were investigated histologically and bone-marrow blood of these individuals was analyzed on the tryptase levels.
We could detect for the first time significantly elevated tryptase levels in bone-marrow blood of patients with systemic mastocytosis. Secondarily we could present a clear correlation between the level of serum tryptase and the clinical symptoms of mastocytosis.
With the present study, we establish a new diagnostic tool for systemic mastocytosis. Unfortunately, we can only present a limited number of cases, since systemic mastocytosis is a rare disease involving few patients.
Our results indicate that the measurement of tryptase in bone-marrow blood is a new, sensitive marker of the mast cell burden in bone marrow of patients with systemic mastocytosis.
Available from: Michel Arock
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ABSTRACT: Indolent forms of mastocytosis account for more than 90% of all cases, but the types and type and severity of symptoms and their impact on the quality of life have not been well studied. We therefore performed a case-control cohort study to examine self-reported disability and impact of symptoms on the quality of life in patients with mastocytosis.
In 2004, 363 mastocytosis patients and 90 controls in France were asked to rate to their overall disability (OPA score) and the severity of 38 individual symptoms. The latter was used to calculate a composite score (AFIRMM score). Of the 363 respondents, 262 were part of an ongoing pathophysiological study so that the following data were available: World Health Organization classification, standard measures of physical and psychological disability, existence of the D816V KIT mutation, and serum tryptase level. The mean OPA and AFIRMM scores and the standard measures of disability indicated that most mastocytosis patients suffer from disabilities due to the disease. Surprisingly, the patient's measurable and perceived disabilities did not differ according to disease classification or presence or absence of the D816V KIT mutation or an elevated (> or = 20 ng/mL) serum tryptase level. Also, 32 of the 38 AFIRMM symptoms were more common in patients than controls, but there were not substantial differences according to disease classification, presence of the D816V mutation, or the serum tryptase level.
On the basis of these results and for the purposes of treatment, we propose that mastocytosis be first classified as aggressive or indolent and that indolent mastocytosis then be categorized according to the severity of patients' perceived symptoms and their impact on the quality of life. In addition, it appears that mastocytosis patients suffer from more symptoms and greater disability than previously thought, that mastocytosis may therefore be under-diagnosed, and that the symptoms of the indolent forms of mastocytosis might be due more to systemic release of mediators than mast cell burden.
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ABSTRACT: To compare the clinical presentation of systemic anaphylaxis to Hymenoptera and Diptera with regard to basal serum tryptase (BT) and to evaluate mastocytosis in patients with elevated tryptase.
The medical records of 140 patients with a history of a systemic reaction to venom were retrospectively reviewed. Symptoms and severity of anaphylaxis and BT were recorded. Most patients with elevated tryptase were screened for mastocytosis: a dermatological examination with a skin biopsy was performed in 19 cases and a bone marrow biopsy in 14 cases.
Tryptase was elevated in 23 patients. These patients reported fewer usual skin reactions (urticaria in 26.1% of cases with raised tryptase vs. 76.1% of cases with normal tryptase), more flushing (52.2% vs. 4.3%) and frequently did not present skin reaction (26.1% vs. 9.4%). They presented a more severe reaction (mean grade of severity: 3.48 vs. 2.69). Mastocytosis was diagnosed in seven patients with elevated tryptase: indolent systemic mastocytosis in six cases and cutaneous mastocytosis without systemic involvement in one case. In five cases, mastocytosis was previously undiagnosed. Lesions of cutaneous mastocytosis, diagnosed in five patients, consisted of urticaria pigmentosa in all cases and were often inconspicuous.
These results demonstrate particular clinical features of the allergic reaction in patients with elevated BT and the higher frequency of mastocytosis in this population. In patients with a severe anaphylactic reaction without urticaria, but with flushing, tryptase should be assayed and an underlying mastocytosis should be considered.
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ABSTRACT: Systemic mastocytosis (SM) is a clonal disorder of hematopoietic system characterized by abnormal growth and accumulation of mast cells in various tissues. Its clinical spectrum ranges from mild disease to an aggressive course with life-threatening conditions. Some of the clinical signs or symptoms of SM (hyperhidrosis, syncope and hypotensive/tachycardiac attacks) require consideration of pheochromocytoma and carcinoid syndrome in the differential diagnosis. The diagnosis relies on the demonstration of mast cell aggregates in bone marrow or extracutaneous tissues. The World Health Organization categorizes SM into 6 variants: indolent SM, SM with associated clonal hematological nonmast cell lineage disease, aggressive SM, mast cell leukemia, mast cell sarcoma and extracutaneous mastocytosis. Patients with indolent SM have a favorable prognosis with a life expectancy comparable with the healthy population, and symptomatic treatment is usually sufficient. However, more aggressive forms may be life threatening, and cytoreductive treatment is indicated in most cases.
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