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Doctor insights on: Is Chronic Urticaria A Mast Cell Disease

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Mast Cell (Definition)

Innate immune cell prevalent in tissue and surrounding small blood vessels. Acts as a source of histamine and other rapid acting mediators of an inflammatory response to tissue infection or damage. Inappropriate activation of mast cells is central to many allergy-related diseases including anaphylaxis. Inappropriate population expansion or activity results in ...Read more


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Whats chronic urticaria vs mast cell disease?

Whats chronic urticaria vs mast cell disease?

Complex problems: There are at least five important systemic mast cell diseases (mastocytosis) and even more causes of chronic urticaria (of which some mastocytosis diseases are only one cause). Often, no cause is ever found for chronic urticaria. A hematologist will probably treat mast cell disease -- perhaps in a research study -- while a dermatologist will manage chronic urticaria. Good luck; stay proactive. ...Read more

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Recent diagnosis w/autoimmune disease & skin biopsy result: urticaria or mast cell disease. Shouldn't biopsy give more definitive diagnosis?

Recent diagnosis w/autoimmune disease & skin biopsy result: urticaria or mast cell disease. Shouldn't biopsy  give more definitive diagnosis?

Hard to tell: Mast cells are the cells that release histamine in the body. This is what happens in urticaria, so one will see mast cells in biopsies of urticarial (hive-like) lesions. Mast cells can also be found in increased numbers in people with mastocytosis. Thus the biopsies may be similar. As stated by my colleague, the clinical history can be key to the diagnosis. Talk with your doc. ...Read more

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What is mast cell disease and how does it manifest in infants?

What is mast cell disease and how does it manifest in infants?

Brownish lesions on: Mastocytosis is when you have collections of mast cells, usually on the skin. These are brown spots, (1 or many) if you scratch them they turn red and swollen for a while (they form a wheal as histamine is released) Usually harmless, but a systemic form exists, not very common, with lesions in bone and other organs. ...Read more

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I have just been diagnosed with systemic mast cell disease. Where can I learn about it?

I have just been diagnosed with systemic mast cell disease. Where can I learn about it?

Which type?: You have my sympathy. There are at least five different important types. Your first step will be to find out which variant you have, and of course get specialist treatment. There are several ongoing studies in which you may have the opportunity to participate -- this would be to your advantage. Good luck. ...Read more

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Does the med, xyrem release histamine ? What do you suggest for mast cell disease ?

Does the med,  xyrem release histamine ? What do you suggest for mast cell disease ?

See below: It is not known exactly how sodium oxybate (xyrem) works, but it is theorized that it works via agonizing the gaba receptor (promoting sedation among other effects). It is not thought to work on histamine. It is recommended that you consult your pcp to evaluate for possible mast cell diseases, if it is concerning you based on symptoms. Hope that answers your question. ...Read more

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Are there any cures for mast cell disease?

Usually not: In rare cases where it is due to a leukemia or related illness, curing or managing this works well, and some folks respond to gleevec (imatinib). Otherwise, we're left managing the symptoms, which is usually possible. I have a colleague with mastocytosis under quite good control, and there are support groups in communities and online. Good luck, and stay proactive. ...Read more

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My husband was diagnosed with mast cell disease. Can anyone help?

My husband was diagnosed with mast cell disease. Can anyone help?

Need to see a doctor: Your husband need to follow-up with the doctor who made that diagnose. ...Read more

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Help please.Suspect MCAD (Mast Cell Disease) - tryptase and mutliple GI confirmations-possible organ damage. Any DFW hospitals that will admit / help?

Help please.Suspect MCAD (Mast Cell Disease) - tryptase and mutliple GI confirmations-possible organ damage. Any DFW hospitals that will admit / help?

See allergist: Your problem can usually be handled by your allergist and there is nothing more that can be done at a hospital unless you have organ failure. You likely need a bone marrow biopsy by a hematologist as well. I also note that you are not taking any antihistamine at all. ...Read more

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What r symptoms & best treatment of mast cell disease? I get constant hive reactions to every med i try, freq rashes, wondering if mast is my issue.

See allergist: First you need a blood test to confirm whether you have a mast cell disorder to start with. If the blood test is positive, then one will have to work up the cause for the mast cell disorder. The usual treatment in high doses of antihistamine but you really need to find out whether your problem is from a mast cell issue or something else. A b/c allergist should be the one you consult. ...Read more

Dr. Katharine Cox
3 doctors shared insights

Hives (Definition)

Also known as urticaria, hives are an outbreak of red bumps or wheals that appear quickly after exposure to certain allergens (foods, medications, other substances). Hives vary in size, are itchy, can burn, and can last for up to ...Read more