Aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease: evaluation and management

Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2011 Jan;3(1):3-10. doi: 10.4168/aair.2011.3.1.3. Epub 2010 Aug 20.


The clinical syndrome of aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) is a condition where inhibition of cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) induces attacks of upper and lower airway reactions, including rhinorrhea and varying degrees of bronchospasm and laryngospasm. Although the reaction is not IgE-mediated, patients can also present with anaphylactic hypersensitivity reactions, including hypotension, after exposure to COX-1 inhibiting drugs. All patients with AERD have underlying nasal polyps and intractable sinus disease which may be difficult to treat with standard medical and surgical interventions. This review article focuses on the management of AERD patients with a particular emphasis on aspirin desensitization and continuous treatment with aspirin.

Keywords: Aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease; Samter's triad; aspirin desensitization; aspirin sensitivity; asthma; chronic sinusitis; nasal polyps.