Heparin Activity in Systemic Mastocytosis

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Systemic mastocytosis is characterized by mast-cell infiltration of various organs, particularly dermis and reticuloendothelial systems. The disorder is rare in blacks (1). In children the skin lesions most often disappear spontaneously. The pathognomonic skin lesions are multiple, irregular, reddish-brown macules and papules that urticate when stroked. Benign aspects of the disorder include flushing, itching, and urticaria. Less frequently vomiting, syncope, or shock may occur intermittently. Rare complications include respiratory distress and duodenal ulcer. Mast cells are known to contain histamine and heparin (2, 3). Most symptoms are presumed to be a result of histamine release from mast cells and often

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