What is AERD/Samter’s Triad?

Aspirin tablet, 94084869Aspirin Exacerbated Respiratory Disease (AERD), also known as Samter’s Triad or Aspirin Sensitive Asthma, is a chronic medical condition that consists of asthma, recurrent sinus disease with nasal polyps, and a sensitivity to aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Approximately 10% of all adults with asthma and 40% of patients with asthma and nasal polyps are sensitive to aspirin and NSAIDs.

What are the symptoms?

Patients with AERD/Samter’s Triad usually have asthma, nasal congestion, and nasal polyps, and often do not respond to conventional treatments. Many have experienced chronic sinus infections and can lose their sense of smell. The characteristic feature of AERD/Samter’s Triad is that patients develop reactions triggered by aspirin or other NSAIDs.

These reactions can include:

  • Increased nasal congestion or stuffiness
  • Eye watering or redness
  • Cough, wheezing, or chest tightness
  • Frontal headache or sensation of sinus pain
  • Flushing and/or a rash
  • Nausea and/or abdominal cramping
  • General feeling of malaise, sometimes accompanied by dizziness

Latest News & Information
23Sep 19

A 1-Day, 90-Minute Aspirin Challenge and Desensitization Protocol in Aspirin-Exacerbated Respiratory Disease

In this study, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital demonstrated the feasibility and safety of a 1-day aspirin desensitization procedure. Desensitization remains the standard of treatment for patients with AERD but it has historically been time consuming—sometimes taking 2 to 3 days to complete. DeGregorio et al. showed that 41 patients successfully completed aspirin desensitization using the 1-day protocol. The protocol entails a 40.5 mg oral aspirin starting dose, 90 minute escalation time, and tolerating both a repeated provocative dose and at least 1 subsequent aspirin dose after reaction.

On average, the entire protocol was completed in 9.5 hours which was less time other popular aspirin desensitization protocols.  Although the study only included participants with a baseline FEV1 greater  than or equal to 70%, patients with a FEV1 less than 70% have been successfully desensitized using this protocol, suggesting that it can be used for patients at higher risk.

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18Jun 19

New additions to the AERD Team!

The AERD Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is happy to announce three new members to our team! Physician Assistant Jillian Bensko, research coordinator Deborah Gakpo, and lab technician Erin Lewis.

After completing her undergraduate degree in Health and Exercise Studies at Skidmore, Jillian worked at the Asthma Research Center here at Brigham and Women’s as a research assistant. She then attended Providence College where she earned a Masters in Physician Assistant Study and joined our team in March of this year. In addition to providing care at the Allergy Clinic at 850 Boylston Street, Jillian will be in charge of new research projects and coordination for new patients.

Deborah recently completed her undergraduate degree from Hamilton College where she double-majored in Biology and Dance & Movement Studies. She will be overseeing a number of ongoing clinical trials in addition to other research projects in AERD.

Erin also attended Hamilton, where she completed her degree in Chemistry. She joined the team in the summer of 2018 and is responsible for the management, storage, and analysis of all biological samples gathered by the AERD team.

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03May 19

Unique Effect of Aspirin Therapy on Biomarkers in Aspirin-Exacerbated Respiratory Disease: A Prospective Trial

In a study conducted here at Brigham and Women’s, researcher Cahill et al. sought to explore the longitudinal changes in biomarkers of patient’s with AERD who take high-dose aspirin therapy. A total of 57 patients were enrolled, 42 with AERD and 15 with aspirin-tolerant asthma (ATAs). Participants with AERD were desensitized to aspirin and placed on high-dose aspirin treatment (1300 mg daily), and the control population of ATAs were given the same dose of aspirin. After 8 weeks, samples of blood and urine were collected and analyzed for known markers of Type 2 inflammation. Surprisingly, the patients with AERD showed an increase in several markers of inflammation after 8 weeks on aspirin therapy, despite reporting a decrease in nasal symptoms. The increase was not seen in patients with aspirin-tolerant asthma, suggesting that the effects of high-dose aspirin on patients with AERD may be unique to the disease.

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