Predicting outcomes of oral aspirin challenges in patients with asthma, nasal polyps, and chronic sinusitis

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2008 May;100(5):420-5. doi: 10.1016/S1081-1206(10)60465-6.


Background: A definitive diagnosis of aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) requires a positive oral aspirin challenge (OAC), but predicting which patients will have positive challenges is often difficult.

Objective: To analyze information about historical aspirin- and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-associated respiratory reactions and clinical characteristics as potential markers to predict positive OACs.

Methods: A total of 243 patients underwent OACs. Data related to previous reactions and clinical characteristics of patients were correlated with the result of the OACs.

Results: Without prior exposure to aspirin or NSAIDs, the chance of a positive OAC was 5 in 12 (42%) but was 198 in 231 (86%) for those with a history of aspirin- and NSAID-associated asthma attacks. Sex, atopy, number of sinus infections per year, and number of sinus surgical procedures were not associated with positive OACs. Patients with 2 or more prior aspirin- and NSAID-associated respiratory reactions had an 89% chance of having a positive OAC vs single reactors (80%; P = .04). Mild or moderate prior reactions were associated with 84% or 80% positive OACs, whereas 100% of the 45 patients with severe prior reactions had positive OACs (P = .007). Except for hospitalizations, treatment locations of prior reactions (home or emergency department) did not seem to make any difference. Logistic regression identified age, sense of smell, and multiple prior reactions as independent risk factors associated with positive OACs.

Conclusions: Age younger than 40 years, poor sense of smell, multiple prior respiratory reactions, and severe prior asthmatic reactions associated with aspirin and NSAIDs significantly increased the chances of a positive OAC.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage*
  • Asthma / complications*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / complications
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Polyps / complications*
  • Olfaction Disorders / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / complications
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / diagnosis*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sinusitis / complications*


  • Aspirin