Detection of clonal mast cell disease in wasp venom allergic patients with normal tryptase

Clin Transl Allergy. 2022 Sep 7;12(9):e12174. doi: 10.1002/clt2.12174. eCollection 2022 Sep.


Background: Clonal mast cell disease (CMD) is an underlying aggravating condition in wasp venom allergy (WVA) which requires a different treatment strategy. CMD is increasingly recognized in patients with normal basal serum tryptase (bsT). However, methods to identify at risk patients have not yet been assessed in large cohorts of WVA patients with normal bsT.

Methods: This retrospective study evaluated the reliability of the REMA score in detecting CMD in a cohort of grade IV WVA patients with normal bsT and assessed the added value of other clinical parameters, KIT D816V mutation analysis in peripheral blood (PB) and the diagnosis of hereditary alpha tryptasemia (HAT). All patients had a conclusive bone marrow evaluation that demonstrated or excluded underlying CMD.

Results: In total 35 CMD and 96 non-CMD patients were included. REMA score had a sensitivity of 72% (95% CI 56%-88%) and specificity of 79% (95% CI 70%-87%) in this cohort. Loss of consciousness during systemic reaction and bsT between 6.3 and 11.4 ng/ml were additional parameters independently associated with CMD. Sensitivity of KIT in PB was relatively low, 56% (95% CI 36%-75%), but had added value as screening method in patients with a low REMA score due to 100% specificity.

Conclusion: The REMA score is a relatively reliable method to detect patients at risk of CMD among WVA patients with normal bsT. KIT mutation analysis in PB could serve as additional screening method in patients with low REMA scores.

Keywords: KIT D816V analysis in peripheral blood; REMA score; insect venom; mastocytosis; tryptase.