BACKGROUND: Patients with mastocytosis are at increased risk of anaphylaxis. The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is often discouraged because of this reason. However, the actual prevalence and severity of NSAID-related hypersensitivity among patients with mastocytosis is unknown.METHODS: A double-blind, placebo-controlled acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) challenge up to a cumulative dose of 520 mg was performed among adult patients with mastocytosis. In addition, a retrospective search of the entire outpatient cohort was performed to obtain "real-life" data on NSAID hypersensitivity.RESULTS: Fifty patients underwent an ASA challenge. Seventy percent had indolent systemic mastocytosis, 18% had mastocytosis in the skin, and 12% had advanced mastocytosis. The ASA challenge was positive in 1 patient who developed urticaria. The additional retrospective chart review revealed that 8 of 191 patients had a history of NSAID-related hypersensitivity reaction(s), of whom 3 reported severe systemic reactions. All 8 patients had already experienced NSAID-related hypersensitivity reactions before mastocytosis was diagnosed.CONCLUSIONS: The frequency of ASA hypersensitivity was 2% in a prospective challenge study and 4.1% in a retrospective chart review of 191 patients with mastocytosis. NSAIDs can be administered safely to most patients with mastocytosis. Extra caution should be taken in patients with a history of hypersensitivity reactions to other drugs, or traditional risk factors for NSAID hypersensitivity.

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Department of Internal Medicine