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Roberta Zanotti
Massimiliano Bonifacio
Ilaria Tanasi
Donatella Schena
Giovanni Orsolini
Morena Tebaldi
Lara Crosera
Francesca Mastropaolo
Elisa Olivieri
Dr. Patrizia Bonadonna


Mastocytosis;, Cytoriduttive treatment;


Systemic mastocytosis (SM) is a heterogeneous group of diseases that affect almost exclusively adults and are defined by the proliferation and accumulation of clonal mast cells (MC) in various tissues. Disease subtypes range from indolent to rare but aggressive forms. Although SM is classified as a rare disease, it is believed to be likely underdiagnosed.  Major signs and symptoms mainly depend on MC activation and less frequently to organ infiltration, typical of more aggressive variants. Diagnosis may be challenging, and symptoms can be aspecific and involve several organs. It is advisable to refer patients to specialized centers, having sufficient knowledge of the disease, sensitive diagnostic procedures, offering a personalized and multidisciplinary diagnostic approach, including at least hematological, allergological, dermatological and rheumatological evaluations. A precise and timely diagnosis is required for: a) adequate counseling of patients and their physicians; b) beginning of symptomatic treatment (anti-mediator therapy); c) prevention of severe manifestations of the disease (i.e., recurrent anaphylaxis, osteoporosis and bone fractures); d) cytoreductive treatment of advanced SM variants.

This review aims to summarize the main manifestations of the disease and describe the ideal diagnostic approach for adult patients with suspected SM, giving physicians the main notions for correct patient diagnosis and management. This review also highlights the importance of a multidisciplinary approach in this very complex disease.


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