Mast cell activation syndromes

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Aug;140(2):349-355. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2017.06.007.


Mast cell activation is common and possibly necessary for maintenance of survival. Disordered mast cell activation occurs when mast cells are pathologically overproduced or if their activation is out of proportion to the perceived threat to homeostasis. Mast cell activation syndrome refers to a group of disorders with diverse causes presenting with episodic multisystem symptoms as the result of mast cell mediator release. Despite introduction of diagnostic criteria and some advances in treatment in the last decade, many areas of mast cell activation syndrome are in need of research. This article reviews our current knowledge about the various types of mast cell activation disorders, their treatment, and areas of uncertainty in need of future investigation.

Keywords: Mast cell; anaphylaxis; mast cell activation syndrome; mastocytosis; tryptase.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immune System Diseases / immunology
  • Mast Cells / immunology*
  • Syndrome