Mastocytosis in children: A protocol for management
Mastocytosis is characterized by an increased number of mast cells with an abnormal growth and accumulation in one or more organs. In most children mastocytosis is limited to the skin (cutaneous mastocytosis) and often transient as compared with that in adults in whom mastocytosis is usually progressive and systemic. Generally, we recognize three more common forms of cutaneous mastocytosis: maculopapulous mastocytosis (formerly urticaria pigmentosa), mastocytoma of skin, and diffuse cutaneous mastocytosis. Childhood mastocytosis can further be divided into cutaneous mastocytosis (nonpersisting and persisting) and systemic mastocytosis (extremely rare). An approach to management using a set protocol is described in table form. In most cases of mastocytosis, only yearly checkups are necessary and no treatment is required; preventive recommendations are warranted in those individuals with systemic disease and constitutional symptoms. Symptomatic therapy is advised in only a minority of cases. This article is meant as a guideline for physicians involved in the care of children with mastocytosis and their parents.