Reversible Elevation of Tryptase Over the Individual's Baseline: Why is It the Best Biomarker for Severe Systemic Mast Cell Activation and MCAS?

Current Allergy and Asthma Reports(2024)

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Purpose of Review Mast cell (MC) activation syndromes (MCAS) are conditions defined by recurrent episodes of severe systemic anaphylaxis or similar systemic events triggered by MC-derived mediators that can be measured in biological fluids. Since some symptoms of MC activation may occur due to other, non-MC etiologies and lead to confusion over diagnosis, it is of crucial importance to document the involvement of MC and their products in the patients´ symptomatology. Recent Findings The most specific and generally accepted marker of severe systemic MC activation is an event-related, transient increase in the serum tryptase level over the individual baseline of the affected individual. However, baseline concentrations of serum tryptase vary among donors, depending on the genetic background, age, kidney function, and underlying disease. As a result, it is of critical importance to provide a flexible equation that defines the diagnostic increase in tryptase qualifying as MCAS criterion in all patients, all situations, and all ranges of baseline serum tryptase. In 2012, the consensus group proposed the 120% + 2 ng/ml formula, which covers the great majority of groups, including cases with low, normal, or elevated basal serum tryptase level. Summary This formula has been validated in subsequent studies and has proven to be a robust and consistent diagnostic criterion of MCAS. The present article is discussing the impact of this formula and possible limitations as well as alternative markers and mediators that may be indicative of MCAS.
MCAS,Anaphylaxis,Allergy,Mast cells,Mastocytosis,Histamine,Tryptase
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