State of the art: a systematic review of the surgical management of aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease

Jonathan Yip, Christopher M Yao, John M Lee
American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy 2014, 28 (6): 493-501

BACKGROUND: Endoscopic sinus surgery is an important modality to the armamentarium of the otolaryngologist managing chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). Within the spectrum of CRS, there exists a subset of patients who are recalcitrant to conventional treatment strategies, including those with aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD). Although surgery is frequently undertaken in this group, there has been no general consensus on the efficacy or optimal extent of surgery.

METHODS: Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, a systematic review of published studies was conducted. Inclusion criteria included original publications of adult patients with AERD undergoing surgery, cohorts of greater than five subjects, a minimum follow-up of 3 months, and measurable clinical outcomes. An electronic search was performed using OVID MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Web of Science.

RESULTS: Sixteen studies met the criteria for analysis. For our primary objective, sinus surgery appeared to improve patient-reported quality of life (QoL) and symptom profile in AERD. Overall, most studies reported a decrease in radiographic grading, endoscopy scores, and asthma severity. Compared with aspirin-tolerant asthmatic patients, AERD patients may have worse objective measures of disease severity both pre- and postoperatively; however, patient-reported QoL and symptom improvement may be similar after sinus surgery. Finally, this review showed that patients with AERD required revision surgeries sooner and more frequently compared with other subtypes of CRS. We also discussed the role of maximal surgical techniques and additional benefit of postoperative adjunctive therapies in the management of this disease entity.

CONCLUSION: The state of the art in the management of AERD patients suggests that surgery does play an important role in helping establish symptomatic control. In the future, more rigorous studies evaluating the comprehensiveness of surgery and postoperative adjuncts are required to understand their impact on long-term patient outcomes.

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