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Systemic mastocytosis is a rare disease involving the infiltration and accumulation of active mast cells within any organ system. By far, the most common organ affected is the skin. Cutaneous manifestations of mastocytosis, including Urticaria Pigmentosa (UP), cutaneous mastocytoma or telangiectasia macularis eruptive perstans (TMEP), may indicate a more serious and potentially life-threatening underlying disease. The presence of either UP or TMEP in a patient with anaphylactic symptoms should suggest the likelihood of systemic mastocytosis, with the caveat that systemic complications are more likely to occur in patients with UP. TMEP can usually be identified by the typical morphology, but a skin biopsy is confirmative. In patients with elevated tryptase levels or those with frequent systemic manifestations, a bone marrow biopsy is essential in order to demonstrate mast cell infiltration. Further genetic testing for mutations of c-kit gene or the FIP1L1 gene may help with disease classification and/or therapeutic approaches. Rarely, TMEP has been described with malignancy, radiation therapy, and myeloproliferative disorders. A few familial cases have also been described. In this review, we discuss the clinical features, diagnosis and management of patients with TMEP. We also discuss the possible molecular pathogenesis and the role of genetics in disease classification and treatment.

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©Copyright C.E. Watkins et al., 2011 Licensee PAGEPress, Italy Dermatology Reports 2011; 3:e12 doi:10.4081/dr.2011.e12

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License