Complete endoscopic sinus surgery followed by aspirin desensitization is associated with decreased overall corticosteroid use

Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2020 Sep;10(9):1043-1048. doi: 10.1002/alr.22604. Epub 2020 Jun 18.


Background: Aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) is an aggressive respiratory tract inflammatory disorder manifesting as asthma, chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis, and a respiratory sensitivity to aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Corticosteroids, both systemic and topical/inhaled, are used to treat inflammation of the upper and lower airways. Our objective was to examine the potential impact of complete endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) and aspirin desensitization (AD) on short-term and long-term corticosteroid use.

Methods: For this pilot study, a retrospective chart review of all patients with AERD who underwent ESS followed by AD was performed. Daily prednisone use, average daily prednisone dose, and inhaled corticosteroid use were analyzed at the following time points: preoperative, postoperative/pre-AD, and 2 to 3 months, 4 to 6 months, 7 to 12 months, and 13 to 24 months following AD.

Results: A total of 125 patients underwent ESS followed by AD. Compared to preoperatively, patients who underwent ESS and AD were less likely to be on daily prednisone at all time points and upon long-term follow-up (32% preoperatively vs 10% at 13 to 24 months, McNemar's test = 9.00, p = 0.009). Average daily prednisone dose decreased from 10.6 ± 7.9 mg preoperatively to 3.8 ± 2.6 mg at 13 to 24 months following AD (Mann-Whitney U; W = 122, p = 0.01). Similarly, high-dose and medium-dose inhaled corticosteroid use decreased from 18% to 7% and from 36% to 22% respectively (Pearson's chi-square = 8.06, p = 0.05).

Conclusion: In our AERD cohort who underwent ESS followed by AD, there was an observed decrease in overall systemic and topical/inhaled corticosteroid use. These findings can have implications for treatment given the potentially hazardous side effects of corticosteroid use.

Keywords: aspirin desensitization; aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease; corticosteroids; endoscopic sinus surgery; nasal polyps.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Aspirin / adverse effects
  • Asthma, Aspirin-Induced*
  • Desensitization, Immunologic
  • Humans
  • Nasal Polyps* / surgery
  • Pilot Projects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Aspirin