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Mastocytosis


Overview :

The body has a variety of free-roaming cell populations that function as immunogenic agents. Most immunogenic cells fall into the category of white blood cells, but some remain in tissues and are not found in the blood. Mast cells are such a group.

Mast cells are found primarily in the skin and digestive system, including the liver and spleen, and produce histamine, a chemical most famous for its ability to cause itching. Histamine also causes acid indigestion, diarrhea, flushing, heart pounding, headaches, and can even cause the blood pressure to drop suddenly.

Mastocytosis comes in three forms. Most cases produce symptoms but do not shorten life expectancy. The three forms are:

  • Mastocytoma, a benign skin tumor.
  • Urticaria pigmentosa, small collections of mast cells in the skin that manifest as salmon or brown-colored patches.
  • Systemic mastocytosis, the collection of mast cells in the skin, lymph nodes, liver, spleen, gastrointestinal tract, and bones.




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