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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Mastocytic enterocolitis


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Overview

What is mastocytic enterocolitis?

What are the signs and symptoms of mastocytic enterocolitis?

How is mastocytic enterocolits diagnosed?

How might mastocytic enterocolitis be treated?

What is mastocytic enterocolitis?

Mastocytic enterocolitis is a term describing the condition of chronic, intractable diarrhea in people with normal colon or duodenum biopsy results, but with an increased number of mast cells in the colonic mucosa (the innermost layer of the colon).[1] The increase in mast cells is not associated with systemic or cutaneous mastocytosis.[2] It is unclear whether the accumulation of mast cells is a response to, or cause of, the mucosal inflammation that causes the symptoms of the condition.[1] Most individuals with this condition respond well to drugs affecting mast cell function.[2]
Last updated: 5/29/2014

What are the signs and symptoms of mastocytic enterocolitis?

According to the medical literature, signs and symptoms of mastocytic enterocolitis primarily include chronic, intractable diarrhea and abdominal pain. Other symptoms that have occasionally been reported include constipation, nausea, and/or vomiting.[2]

Although other signs and symptoms appear to have been reported by individuals on various online forums and support Web sites, we were unable to locate additional information about symptoms of the condition in the available medical literature. At this time, literature about mastocytic enterocolitis is scarce.
Last updated: 8/6/2013

How is mastocytic enterocolits diagnosed?

Mastocytic enterocolitis is diagnosed after an endoscopic procedure in which the doctor takes samples of tissues (biopsies) from the lining of the intestines. The tissue is then sent to a pathologist who looks at it under the microscope.[3] Mast cells may be hard to see on biopsies without a special stain for tryptase, an enzyme present in mast cells. Mastocytic enterocolitis is diagnosed when excess mast cells are present in the small bowel or the colon.[2][3]
Last updated: 7/15/2009

How might mastocytic enterocolitis be treated?

There is very limited information in the medical literature about the treatment of mastocytic enterocolitis. Options that have been suggested include antihistamines and/or medications that alter mast cell mediator release and function, or mast cell stabilizers.[4][5]

Symptoms of chronic diarrhea may be relieved by staying well-hydrated and avoiding dehydration; maintaining a well-balanced diet; and avoiding alcohol and beverages that contain caffeine.[6]

People with a diagnosis of mastocytic enterocolitis who are looking for specific treatment options should speak with their healthcare provider.
Last updated: 5/29/2014

References
  1. Ogilvie-McDaniel C, Blaiss M, Osborn FD, Carpenter J. Mastocytic enterocolitis: a newly described mast cell entity. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. December 2008; 101(6):645-646.
  2. Jakate S, Demeo M, John R, Tobin M, Keshavarzian A.. Mastocytic enterocolitis: increased mucosal mast cells in chronic intractable diarrhea. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2006 Mar; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16519565. Accessed 9/19/2012.
  3. Lewy S. . February 5, 2008; http://ezinearticles.com/?Mastocytic-Enterocolitis---A-Patient-Guide-to-Mastocytic-Inflammatory-Bowel-Disease-(MIBD)&id=967681. Accessed 1/1/1900.
  4. Jakate S, Demeo M, John R, Tobin M, Keshavarzian A. Mastocytic enterocolitis: increased mucosal mast cells in chronic intractable diarrhea. Arch Pathol Lab Med. March, 2006; 130(3):362-367. Accessed 5/29/2014.
  5. Chrishana Ogilvie-McDaniel, Michael Blaiss, F David Osborn, Julie Carpenter. MASTOCYTIC ENTEROCOLITIS: A NEWLY DESCRIBED MAST CELL ENTITY. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. December, 2008; 101(6):645–646. Accessed 5/29/2014.
  6. Chronic Diarrhea. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. August 18, 2011; http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/disease/chronic_diarrhea.html. Accessed 5/29/2014.


See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.