Aspirin desensitization in patients with aspirin-induced and aspirin-tolerant asthma: a double-blind study

Monika Świerczyńska-Krępa, Marek Sanak, Grażyna Bochenek, Paweł Stręk, Adam Ćmiel, Anna Gielicz, Hanna Plutecka, Andrzej Szczeklik, Ewa Niżankowska-Mogilnicka
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2014, 134 (4): 883-90

BACKGROUND: Numerous open trials have demonstrated the beneficial clinical effects of aspirin desensitization (AD) in patients with aspirin-induced asthma (AIA). These beneficial effects might be attributable to aspirin's potent anti-inflammatory properties, but that supposition requires further corroboration.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to compare the clinical and biochemical responses to chronic oral AD in 20 patients with AIA and 14 patients with aspirin-tolerant asthma (ATA). All of the patients had chronic rhinosinusitis and nasal polyposis, and these responses were investigated in a pilot, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

METHODS: Twelve patients with AIA and 6 patients with ATA were randomly assigned to receive 624 mg of aspirin, and 8 patients with AIA and 8 patients with ATA received placebo. Both aspirin and placebo were administered once daily for 6 months. Nasal symptoms, Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT20) scores, peak nasal inspiratory flows, Asthma Control Questionnaire scores, spirometric parameters, peak expiratory flows, blood eosinophilia, and corticosteroid doses were assessed on a monthly basis. Levels of urinary leukotriene E4 and the stable plasma prostaglandin (PG) D2 metabolite 9α,11β-PGF2 were evaluated at baseline and after 1, 3, 5, and 6 months.

RESULTS: Only the patients with AIA subjected to AD reported improvements in smell and reductions in sneezing and nasal blockade. The SNOT20 and Asthma Control Questionnaire scores of these patients decreased, and their peak nasal inspiratory flows increased. The dosages of inhaled corticosteroids were reduced. There were no changes in leukotriene E(4) or 9α,11β-PGF(2) levels after AD.

CONCLUSION: The clinically beneficial effects of AD on nasal and bronchial symptoms occurred only in the patients with AIA.

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