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
15Aug 18

Depression symptoms and quality of life among individuals with Aspirin-Exacerbated Respiratory Disease

Depression symptoms and quality of life among individuals with Aspirin-Exacerbated Respiratory Disease

This study, directed by Dr. Elina Jerschow’s group in New York, was the first to examine levels of depression and disease- and asthma-related quality of life among patients with AERD. They found that although ratings of asthma severity were more severe for AERD than for the control group of asthma-only patients, AERD patients reported lower levels of depression symptoms (p = .049), better overall asthma-related quality of life (p < .001), and perceived their asthma to be less severe (p = .01) compared to asthma-only patients. This suggests that patients with AERD may be particularly resilient given their low levels of depression symptoms and positive views of asthma-related impairment despite higher clinician-rated asthma severity. Dr. Jerschow speculated that the more common adult-onset nature of AERD might be a protective factor on mental health.

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01Aug 18

Eosinophilia-Associated Coronary Artery Vasospasm in Patients with AERD

Eosinophilia-Associated Coronary Artery Vasospasm in Patients with Aspirin-Exacerbated Respiratory Disease

Some patients with AERD and increased eosinophil cells in their blood have reported angina-like chest pain that occurs at rest, responds to systemic corticosteroid/prednisone therapy, and is presumed to be eosinophilia-associated coronary artery vasospasm. A chart review of patients with AERD who are followed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital revealed that 10 of the 153 patients reviewed had a history of chest pain that was concerning for cardiac ischemia. Of the 10 patients with chest pain, 8 had undergone aspirin desensitization and initiated high-dose aspirin therapy; of these, 6 reported an increase in the frequency or severity of chest pain while on high-dose aspirin. Although uncommon, patients with AERD can develop eosinophilia-associated coronary artery vasospasm, which is occasionally worsened by high-dose aspirin. Patients with AERD who present with symptoms of ischemic chest pain should be screened for eosinophilia, as early treatment with corticosteroids can be life-saving.

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18Jul 18

Alcohol-induced respiratory symptoms improve after aspirin desensitization in patients with AERD

Alcohol-induced respiratory symptoms improve after aspirin desensitization in patients with aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease

This study, directed by Dr. John Bosso and the research team at the University of Pennsylvania, suggests that aspirin desensitization and treatment with high-dose daily aspirin may help alleviate the alcohol-induced symptoms that patients with AERD experience.

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