Mast cell activation syndromes (MCAS) are clinically defined disease states with a largely unknown morphological background. Since mastocytosis may be associated with MCAS, it is crucial in every patient to document or exclude mastocytosis by appropriate histological, molecular, and serological investigations of tissues/organs that are commonly involved in mastocytosis like skin, mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract and bone marrow. Accordingly, histopathological investigation including immunohistological stains is crucial to reach the final diagnosis in such patients and to classify MCAS into primary MCAS, which can present with or without evidence of overt mastocytosis, or secondary MCAS, where an underlying disease with or without tissue inflammation is detected. Cases without evidence of mastocytosis, monoclonal mast cells, or any underlying disease should be termed idiopathic MCAS. When the activating point mutant KIT D816V is detectable but criteria for diagnosis of mastocytosis are not completely met, a so-called (mono)clonal MCAS as a subvariant of primary MCAS should be diagnosed.
Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.