Free fulltext: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/all.15304 Idiopathic mast cell activation syndrome is more often suspected than diagnosed—A prospective real-life study Thomas Buttgereit, Sophie Gu, Leonor Carneiro-Leão, Annika Gutsche, Marcus Maurer, Frank Siebenhaar First published: 01 April 2022 https://doi.org/10.1111/all.15304 Abstract Background Idiopathic mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) is characterized by three diagnostic criteria: (1) episodic mast cell (MC)-driven signs/symptoms of at least two organ systems in the absence of clonal MC expansion and definite triggers, (2) episodic increase in tryptase, and (3) response to MC-targeted treatment. Many patients believe they have MCAS, but how often this is the case remains unknown. Methods We prospectively investigated patients with suspected MCAS (n = 100) for the diagnostic criteria including baseline tryptase, KIT D816V mutation, and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) over the course of 12 weeks. Comorbid depression and anxiety were explored with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Results In 53% of our patients (80% females), suspicion of MCAS was based on self-evaluation. In total, patients reported 87 different symptoms, mostly fatigue (n = 57), musculoskeletal pain/weakness (n = 49), and abdominal pain (n = 43), with overall high disease activity and impact. Two of 79 patients had increased tryptase (by >20% +2 ng/ml) following an episode. Only 5%, with any of the PROMs used, showed complete response to MC-targeted treatment. Depression and anxiety disorders were frequent comorbidities (n = 23 each), and 65 patients had pathological HADS values, which were linked to high disease impact and poor symptom control. Conclusion Mast cell activation syndrome was confirmed in only 2% of patients, which implies that it is not MC activation that drives signs and symptoms in most patients with suspected MCAS. There is a high need for comprehensive research efforts aimed at the identification of the true underlying pathomechanism(s) in patients with suspected MCAS.