Hirsh Komarow, M.D.

 Hirsh D. Komarow, M.D.

Credit: NIAID
Staff Clinician, Mast Cell Biology Section

Major Areas of Research

  • Diagnosis and management of urticarias induced by temperature, pressure, vibration, and physical exertion
  • Pathogenesis of allergic inflammation
  • Asthma, impulse oscillometry
  • Mastocytosis

Program Description

The primary research focus is to investigate pathogenic mechanisms of physical urticarias, both to better understand and manage these reactions and to shed light on allergic reactions in general. Urticaria induced by mechanical and applied pressure; exercise; or exposure to cold, heat, sun, water, or vibration is termed physical urticaria. These urticarial manifestations are generally thought to be the result of mast cell activation and degranulation, which is supported by the finding of increased levels of serum histamine during urticarial flares. Current translational studies are focused on the further characterization of induced urticarias through physical challenge testing with real-time photographic imaging of lesions, collection of blood and tissues samples to determine calcium channel flux, sequencing of polymorphisms, expression of mast cell activating proteins, and expression of serum cytokines. The ability of specific medications to inhibit these reactions is also being examined.

Another area of research is focused on the utility of non-invasive technologies to measure airway inflammation. Specific techniques include acoustic rhinometry, which measures nasal volume, and impulse oscillometry for the determination of pulmonary resistance and reactance in asthmatic children.

The group also focuses on the evaluation of patients with mastocytosis to gain a better understanding of pathogenesis.

Watch a video on the importance of healthy volunteers in clinical studies.


Dr. Komarow obtained his M.D. from Sackler School of Medicine in Ramat Aviv, Israel, and completed his pediatric residency at MetroHealth Medical Center/Case Western Reserve Medical Center in Cleveland, OH. He finished his allergy and immunology fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in 2001 and was a research fellow in the Genetics and Genomics Branch of the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases until 2005, when he joined the Laboratory of Allergic Diseases as a staff clinician.


  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

Selected Publications

Carter MC, Metcalfe DD, Komarow HD. Mastocytosis. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2014 Feb;34(1):181-96.

Komarow HD, Young M, Nelson C, Metcalfe DD. Vocal cord dysfunction as demonstrated by impulse oscillometry. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2013 Jul-Aug;1(4):387-93.

Meyer J, Gorbach AM, Liu WM, Medic N, Young M, Nelson C, Arceo S, Desai A, Metcalfe DD, Komarow HD. Mast cell dependent vascular changes associated with an acute response to cold immersion in primary contact urticaria. PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56773.

Komarow HD, Skinner J, Young M, Gaskins D, Nelson C, Gergen PJ, Metcalfe DD. A study of the use of impulse oscillometry in the evaluation of children with asthma: analysis of lung parameters, order effect, and utility compared with spirometryPediatr Pulmonol. 2012 Jan;47(1):18-26.

Komarow HD, Myles IA, Uzzaman A, Metcalfe DD. Impulse oscillometry in the evaluation of diseases of the airways in children.Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2011 Mar;106(3):191-9.

Simon A, Park H, Maddipati R, Lobito AA, Bulua AC, Jackson AJ, Chae JJ, Ettinger R, de Koning HD, Cruz AC, Kastner DL, Komarow H, Siegel RM. Concerted action of wild-type and mutant TNF receptors enhances inflammation in TNF receptor 1-associated periodic fever syndromeProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 May 25;107(21):9801-6.

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