Endoscopic sinus surgery improves aspirin treatment response in aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease patients

Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2019 Dec;9(12):1401-1408. doi: 10.1002/alr.22418. Epub 2019 Sep 30.


Background: Aspirin desensitization and treatment benefits most patients with aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD), although some patients fail therapy. Our objective was to assess whether recent endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) improved aspirin treatment outcomes in AERD patients who initially failed aspirin therapy.

Methods: Outcomes of aspirin desensitization and treatment in AERD patients prospectively enrolled were assessed preoperatively and at 4, 12, and 24 weeks after ESS by determining changes in Asthma Control Test (ACT) and Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (RQLQ) scores and respiratory function. Biomarkers, including fractional excretion of nitric oxide (FeNO), spirometry, nasal inspiratory peak flow (NPF), immunoglobulin E (IgE), and eosinophil count, were measured.

Results: Nineteen patients who benefited (responders) and 21 patients who failed (nonresponders) preoperative aspirin treatment with a distant history of ESS (mean, 48 months) were identified. Nonresponders were more likely to be African American (71%, p < 0.01) and have higher baseline IgE levels (252 kU/L vs 87 kU/L in responders, p < 0.01). 24 of the 40 patients (nine responders and 15 non-responders) required subsequent ESS and underwent another aspirin desensitization 3-4 weeks after ESS. All 24 patients tolerated a second round of aspirin desensitization and treatment. The primary aspirin therapy was associated with a significant increase in IgE in nonresponders, but there was no significant increase in IgE after the second aspirin desensitization and treatment.

Conclusion: Antecedent ESS enhances aspirin treatment responses in AERD patients and may convert patients who failed aspirin treatment before surgery to a more responsive phenotype after ESS. Patients with higher baseline serum IgE levels may benefit from ESS performed shortly before aspirin desensitization and therapy.

Keywords: AERD; aspirin-induced asthma; asthma; nasal polyps; paranasal sinus diseases; sinusitis; treatment outcome.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage*
  • Aspirin / adverse effects
  • Asthma, Aspirin-Induced / surgery
  • Asthma, Aspirin-Induced / therapy*
  • Desensitization, Immunologic*
  • Endoscopy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Surgical Procedures*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Aspirin