Safety and outcomes of aspirin desensitization for aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease: A single-center study

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Aspirin desensitization is an effective treatment option for aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease. Aspirin desensitization protocol modifications have improved the safety and efficiency of this procedure, yet some providers remain reluctant to perform it.


The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and outcomes of outpatient aspirin desensitization procedures. A secondary objective was to assess clinical characteristics that might predict reaction severity during aspirin desensitization.


Two hundred seventy-five patients underwent aspirin desensitization at Scripps Clinic between January 2009 and August 2015. Baseline patient characteristics and reaction results were analyzed in the 167 patients who reacted during desensitization.


All of the 167 reactors, including 23 who were classified as severe reactors, were successfully desensitized in the outpatient setting. The average desensitization duration among reactors was 1.67 days, and the average duration for gastrointestinal reactors was 2.29 days. The mean baseline Sino-Nasal Outcome Test score was higher in severe reactors compared with nonsevere reactors (P= .05). Overall, patients receiving omalizumab had a similar reaction profile to those not receiving omalizumab.


Most patients undergoing aspirin desensitization will have symptoms. It remains difficult to predict the severity of these symptoms. However, desensitization can be done safely and efficiently in an appropriately equipped outpatient setting. This treatment option should be made available to all patients with aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease. The Sino-Nasal Outcome Test score might be able to predict more severe reactions and merits further study. Eight of the 9 patients receiving omalizumab reacted during desensitization, suggesting that it does not block reactions during aspirin desensitization.

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