Patients with systemic mastocytosis present symptoms related to the tissue response to the release of mediators from mast cells and to the local mast cell burden. Such patients often have a history of chronic and acute mediator-related symptoms. Most patients have indolent disease with a good prognosis and a normal life span. Symptoms can include pruritus, flushing, syncope, gastric distress, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, bone pain and neuropsychiatric symptoms, most of which are controlled by medication. Because there is no current cure for mastocytosis, successful therapeutic interventions rely on the recognition of mediator-related symptoms and their treatment, and established intervention approaches for the relatively uncommon leukemic concomitants. Efforts to link a particular mast cell-derived mediator to some aspect of the symptom complex depend on the known actions of the mediator and the efficacy of target-based interventions.
Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel