2 - 4 days
Turnaround time is defined as the usual number of days from the date of pickup of a specimen for testing to when the result is released to the ordering provider. In some cases, additional time should be allowed for additional confirmatory or additional reflex tests. Testing schedules may vary.
Serum or plasma
0.5 mL (Note: This volume does not allow for repeat testing.)
Gel-barrier tube, lavender-top (EDTA) tube, or green-top (heparin) tube
Separate serum or plasma from cells and transfer to a plastic transport tube.
Gross hemolysis; lipemic samples
This test measures total tryptase (alpha and beta tryptase). Tryptase is the most abundant protein component of human mast cell secretory granules.1,2 Serum levels generally reflect the extent of mast cell activation either by IgE- or non-IgE-mediated mechanisms. Basophils also produce small amounts of tryptase.
Tryptase is often ordered as part of the diagnostic assessment of a patient suspected of having mastocytosis (either cutaneous or systemic).3-5 Serum levels are thought to correlate with mast cell "burden" in these patients.5 Mastocytosis is considered in the differential diagnosis of patients that experience severe allergic reactions without any identifiable specific trigger. Systemic mastocytosis can produce symptoms suggestive of organ involvement, such as peptic ulcers, chronic diarrhea, and joint pain. These patients may display evidence of enlargement of the liver, spleen, or lymph nodes. There may be skin involvement with rashes or characteristic red blistering lesions.
Tryptase may be ordered to help confirm anaphylaxis as the cause of an individual's acute symptoms, especially when the diagnosis is not clear and/or the symptoms are recurrent.6,7 With anaphylaxis, tryptase levels typically peak about one to two hours after symptoms begin and then decline slowly within the next three to six hours. The biological half-life for tryptase is about two hours.
Systemic mastocytosis is a risk factor for anaphylactic reactions, particularly in response to drugs8,9 and insect stings.10-15 Patients with elevated baseline tryptase levels may be at increased risk for severe anaphylactic reactions. The risk associated with baseline elevated tryptase levels is greater in individuals with a known history of severe systemic reactions. Transiently increased tryptase levels measured during severe reaction to an allergen, such as insect venom or an anesthetic drug, suggest that mast cell activation may have had a role in causing the reaction.
Pathological increased levels of tryptase reflect the mast cell burden in certain hematological abnormalities and neoplasms, irrespective if systemic mastocytosis is established or not.16 Hematological disorders that involve uncontrolled growth of immature myeloid cells in the bone marrow and/or the circulation can produce increased serum tryptase levels. Several therapeutic drugs have been developed for cytoreductive therapy of systemic mastocytosis and hematological neoplasms.17 During treatment tryptase measurements is a useful monitoring and prognostic tool.
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