Mast Cell Activation During Suspected Perioperative Hypersensitivity: A Need for Paired Samples Analysis

Didier G. Ebo*, Leander P. De Puysseleyr, Athina L. Van Gasse, Jessy Elst, Marie Line van der Poorten, Margaretha A. Faber, Christel Mertens, Michel Van Houdt, Margo M. Hagendorens, Luc Sermeus, Joana Vitte, Michel Moise, Lene H. Garvey, Mariana C. Castells, Charles Tacquard, Paul Michel Mertes, Lawrence B. Schwartz, Vito Sabato

*Corresponding author for this work
9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Perioperative hypersensitivity (POH) reactions constitute a significant clinical and diagnostic challenge. A transient increase in serum tryptase during POH reflects mast cell activation (MCA) and helps to recognize an underlying hypersensitivity mechanism. Objective: To determine the diagnostic performance of different tryptase decision thresholds based on single and paired measurements to document MCA in suspected POH. Methods: Acute serum tryptase (aST) and baseline serum tryptase (bST) samples were obtained from patients referred to our outpatients clinic because of clinical POH. Tryptase samples from controls were obtained before induction (Tt0) and 1.5 hours after induction (Tt1) in uneventful anesthesia. Different cutoff points for tryptase increase over bST and the percentage increase in tryptase (%T) were calculated and compared with existing thresholds: aST > [1.2 × (bST) + 2] (consensus formula), aST higher than 11.4 ng/mL, and aST higher than 14 ng/mL. Results: Patients with POH had higher bST and aST levels compared with controls (respectively 5.15 vs 2.28 ng/mL for bST and 20.30 vs 1.92 ng/mL for aST). The consensus formula and a tryptase increase over bST of greater than or equal to 3.2 ng/mL held the highest accuracies to document MCA in POH (respectively 81% and 82%). A bST of higher than 8 ng/mL was present in 4% of controls, 5% of patients with grade 1 POH, 24% of patients with grade 2 POH, 15% of patients with grade 3 POH, and 17% of patients with grade 4 POH. Conclusions: Our data endorse the consensus formula for detection of MCA in POH. Furthermore, it shows that a bST of higher than 8 ng/mL was associated with occurrence of anaphylaxis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)3051-3059.e1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Anaphylaxis/diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Mast Cells
  • Tryptases


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