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Mastocytosis

Related Terms

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Background

  • Paul Ehrlich first described mast cells in 1877 on the basis of their unique staining characteristics and large granules. Mast cells are part of the body's immune system. Mast cells are very similar to basophil granulocytes (type of white blood cell), which are both thought to originate from bone marrow precursors expressing the CD34 molecule. The basophil leaves the bone marrow once it is mature. The mast cells, on the other hand, circulate in an immature form until they reach tissue, where they fully develop.
  • Mast cells are found in most tissues that are near blood vessels. They are especially prominent in the skin, mucosa of the lungs and digestive tract, as well as the mouth, conjunctiva and nose.
  • In the early to mid-20th Century, all forms of mast cell disease were categorized under the group referred to as mastocytosis, which is characterized by abnormal mast cell growth. Over the last 30 years, researchers have defined several different categories, and the current definitions are still evolving.
  • Mast cell disease is more common among children than adults. According to research, the onset of mastocytosis occurs in children younger than two years old in 55% of patients.

Causes

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Main Types of Mastocytosis

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Symptoms

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Integrative Therapies

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Prevention

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.