Low Frequency of IgE-Mediated Food Hypersensitivity in Mastocytosis

Jesper Jarkvist, Knut Brockow, Theo Gülen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with mastocytosis have an increased risk for severe anaphylaxis, particularly to Hymenoptera venoms. These patients may also develop more often systemic hypersensitivity reactions to certain foods. However, this issue has not been systematically investigated. Objective: To determine prevalence and severity of food hypersensitivity (FH) reactions among patients with clonal mast cell disorders (CMDs). Methods: A retrospective study was conducted among 204 (age ≥18 years) consecutive patients who presented with confirmed CMD (170 with mastocytosis and 34 with monoclonal mast cell activation syndrome). All patients underwent thorough allergy workup where self-reported FH reactions were evaluated. Results: The prevalence of self-reported FH was 20.6%. The frequency of immunologically mediated reactions was uncommon, because only 3.4% were confirmed by relevant history and IgE sensitization. Among patients with FH, 5 had severe anaphylaxis corresponding to an overall prevalence of 2.5%. Most symptoms were restricted to skin (86%), followed by gastrointestinal tract symptoms (45%)—similar to symptoms that occur in patients with mastocytosis also without food intake. Nuts, spicy foods, seafood, and alcohol were the most common incriminated elicitors. There was no significant difference between the groups regarding age, sex, atopic status, or IgE levels. Conclusions: Anaphylaxis from foods in mastocytosis does exist and is severe, although foods are less frequent elicitors than insect venoms. Furthermore, the frequency of overall FH reactions is comparable with that in the general population and most reactions are mild, nonallergic, and unconfirmed. Consequently, our results do not support the elimination of any diet in patients with CMD without a history of FH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3093-3101
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Anaphylaxis
  • Biogenic amines
  • D816V mutation
  • Food allergy
  • Food hypersensitivity
  • IgE
  • Mast cell
  • Mastocytosis
  • Prevalence
  • Tryptase


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