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How to interpret mast cell tests
  1. Thomas Waterfield1,
  2. Emma Dyer2,
  3. Kathryn Wilson3,
  4. Robert J Boyle4
  1. 1Paediatric Emergency Department, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast, UK
  2. 2Department Of Paediatrics, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Paediatrics, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast, UK
  4. 4Department of Paediatric Allergy, Imperial College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Thomas Waterfield, Paediatric Emergency Department, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, 180-184 Falls Rd, Belfast, County Antrim BT12 6BE, UK; Thomas.waterfield{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Mast cell tryptase (tryptase) is an enzyme produced almost exclusively by mast cells that is easy to measure using a widely available test. In this article we discuss the physiology of the mast cell and how that relates to IgE-mediated anaphylaxis and mastocytosis. We also describe the technical aspects of testing tryptase and the reported normal ranges in health. Finally we explore the diagnostic performance of serum mast cell tryptase measurements, when used to confirm anaphylaxis, estimate future anaphylaxis risk and in diagnosing/monitoring leukaemia.

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