Diagnostic value of tryptase in anaphylaxis and mastocytosis

Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2006 Aug;26(3):451-63. doi: 10.1016/j.iac.2006.05.010.


Serum (or plasma) levels of total and mature tryptase measurements are recommended in the diagnostic evaluation of systemic anaphylaxis and systemic mastocytosis, but their interpretation must be considered in the context of a complete workup of each patient. Total tryptase levels generally reflect the increased burden of mast cells in patients with all forms of systemic mastocytosis (indolent systemic mastocytosis, smoldering systemic mastocytosis, systemic mastocytosis associated with a hematologic clonal non-mast cell disorder, aggressive systemic mastocytosis, and mast cell leukemia) and the decreased burden of mast cells associated with cytoreductive therapies in these disorders. Causes of an elevated total tryptase level other than systemic mastocytosis must be considered, however, and include systemic anaphylaxis, acute myelocytic leukemia, various myelodysplastic syndromes, hypereosinophilic syndrome associated with the FLP1L1-PDGFRA mutation, end-stage renal failure, and treatment of onchocerciasis. Mature (beta) tryptase levels generally reflect the magnitude of mast cell activation and are elevated during most cases of systemic anaphylaxis, particularly with parenteral exposure to the inciting agent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anaphylaxis / blood
  • Anaphylaxis / diagnosis*
  • Anaphylaxis / enzymology
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Mastocytosis / blood
  • Mastocytosis / diagnosis*
  • Mastocytosis / enzymology
  • Time Factors
  • Tryptases / blood*


  • Tryptases