Surgical treatment of aspirin triad sinusitis

Am J Rhinol. Jul-Aug 1997;11(4):263-70. doi: 10.2500/105065897781446702.


Aspirin sensitivity, asthma, and chronic sinusitis with polyposis comprises the syndrome of Aspirin Triad (AT). The sinusitis associated with this disease is often fulminate and difficult to treat. In order to evaluate the surgical treatment of chronic sinusitis of AT a 17-year retrospective study of 80 patients was performed. Friedman Class III or IV sinus CT scans were present in 73 patients (90%) preoperatively. Twenty-five patients (30.1%) had steroid-dependent asthma and an additional 40 (50%) required intermittent oral steroids for asthma control. All patients underwent bilateral sinus surgery by either a conservative or a radical approach. Patients were followed from 3 weeks to 16 years postoperatively, with an average followup of 3 years. Sixty-eight patients (85%) had significant improvement in their sinus symptoms and 67 (83%) had relief of their asthma. The eight patients (10%) who remained steroid dependent required smaller doses of steroids. Seven patients (8.8%) had nonoperative orbital complications. There was a significant incidence of revision surgery after both conservative and radical sinus procedures. We conclude that surgical treatment by either a conservative or a radical approach controlled the sinusitis in the majority of AT patients, but neither was effective in eliminating the need for subsequent sinus surgery in a significant number of patients with severe sinus disease (Classes III and IV). Control of the sinus disease has a definite beneficial effect on steroid dependency and the need for intermittent oral steroids in managing the asthma in AT. We recommend conservative surgery in the surgical treatment of these patients. AT patients also require close long-term followup with intense medical management of their chronic respiratory inflammation that appears to put them at increased risk for nonoperative complications of their severe sinusitis.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arachidonic Acid / metabolism
  • Aspirin / adverse effects
  • Aspirin / metabolism
  • Asthma / complications
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Bronchial Spasm / complications
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orbital Diseases / complications
  • Polyps / complications
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sinusitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Sinusitis / surgery*
  • Steroids / administration & dosage
  • Steroids / therapeutic use
  • Syndrome
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Steroids
  • Arachidonic Acid
  • Aspirin