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Samter's Triad - AERD: Sinusitis Rhinitis, Asthma, Aspirin Sensitivity, Nasal Polyps

Samter's triad - Aspirin Exacerbated Respiratory Disease (AERD)

Some people develop a running, blocked nose in early adult life that may progress to asthma and sinusitis.  Some of these people turn out to have nasal polyps.  This is known as Samter's triad.

The complete combination is:

  • rhinitis (constant or frequent running nose)
  • asthma
  • nasal polyps (and sinusitis)
  • aspirin or anti-inflammatory (NSAID) sensitivity.

Click here for an article on Samter's triad written for Allergy New Zealand by Andrew Baker ADHB Immunologist.

Treatment of Samter's triad can be started with nasal sprays and sinus rinses however many people require surgery such as polypectomy.

Furthermore, some people with these symptoms can have adverse reactions when they take aspirin or anti-inflammatories. 

Aspirin desensitisation is an important treatment in this scenario.

Aspirin desensitisation has the following proven benefits:

  • improved asthma symptoms
  • fewer episodes of sinusitis
  • slower polyp regrowth after operation (from average 3 years to 10 years)
  • less steroid medication required
  • fewer hospitalisations.

This page was last updated at 11:08AM on March 24, 2021.