Lipoxygenase inhibitor-provoked acute asthma in a patient with asthma relieved by aspirin

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 1995 Aug;75(2):112-4.


Background: A very small number of patients with asthma show symptomatic improvement after administration of aspirin and other cyclooxygenase inhibitors. The clinical features of such patients with so-called aspirin-relieved asthma are similar to those with aspirin-induced asthma, but the pathogenesis is unclear.

Methods: We encountered one confirmed aspirin-relieved asthma patient and investigated the effects of cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase inhibitors on his condition.

Results: Our patient showed a marked improvement of the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) after administration of aspirin and three other cyclooxygenase inhibitors (indomethacin, mefenamic acid, and ketoprofen). A 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor (AA861, Takeda, Japan), however, evoked acute asthma, and repeated administration of this drug resulted in some desensitization, but not complete tolerance.

Conclusions: These results suggest an altered balance of arachidonic acid metabolism may play a critical role in the pathophysiology of aspirin-relieved asthma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Benzoquinones / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lipoxygenase Inhibitors / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Benzoquinones
  • Lipoxygenase Inhibitors
  • 2,3,5-trimethyl-6-(12-hydroxy-5,10-dodecadiynyl)-1,4-benzoquinone
  • Aspirin