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Definition

Mastocytosis is a disease that causes facial flushing. Mast cells are cells of the immune system that are found around blood vessels in the skin, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, and genitourinary tract. Mastocytosis happens irrespective of age. Among adults the effect of Mastocytosis is generally serious in nature. Mastocytosis can occur at any age. However, it's usually more serious in adults. Mastocytosis is usually mild in children and they often outgrow it. Some types of mastocytosis are systematic mastocytosis, cutaneous mastocytosis.

Causes

It is not known what causes mastocytosis, but a genetic problem has been found in some patients. Symptoms may be triggered by cold or heat, certain medicines, emotional stress and insect bites. The triggers aren't the same in every person. It is not contagious, i.e. can't be caught by other people in contact with your child.  Underlying medical conditions are other medical conditions that may possibly cause Mastocytosis. Increased local concentrations of soluble mast cell growth factor in lesions of cutaneous mastocytosis are believed to stimulate mast cell proliferation, melanocyte proliferation, and melanin pigment production.

Symptoms

Symptoms of mastocytosis in the skin are: red and itchy rash, hives, rash that looks like freckles, or a lump on your skin. Symptoms of mastocytosis in the stomach and intestine are: diarrhea and stomach pain.
When too many mast cells exist in a person's body, the additional chemicals can cause

  • Bone or muscle pain
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin lesions
  • Episodes of very low blood pressure and faintness
  • Shock

In a few patients, the extra mast cells cause a serious reaction, like a bad allergy reaction. The blood pressure may suddenly drop to a low level and cause fainting. The person may have trouble breathing.

Treatment

Treatment can stop your mast cells from releasing histamine. It can also keep the histamine from causing problems. If your symptoms are severe, you should get treatment.

Doctors use several medicines to treat mastocytosis symptoms, including antihistamines (to prevent the effect of mast cell histamine) and anticholinergics (to relieve intestinal cramping).

A biopsy may also be performed. If mastocytosis affecting the skin is suspected, a sample of skin tissue is removed and examined under a microscope for mast cells. If systemic mastocytosis is suspected, a sample is taken from the bone marrow or other tissues.

Other tests that are important in the evaluation of a suspected case of mastocytosis include a bone marrow examination and a bone scan. Special stains, such as Giemsa and toluidine blue, are used on a bone marrow sample to demonstrate the increase in marrow mast cells that occurs in a large percentage of people with the disease.

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