Purpose of review
The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive summary of the current understanding of the pathogenesis of aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD), and an update on its management.
Elevated levels of 15-oxo-eicosatetraenoic acid (15-Oxo-ETE), a newly described metabolite of arachidonic acid, have been identified in nasal polyps of AERD patients. In nasal polyps, activated basophils, and interleukin-5 -receptor-α-positive IL-5Rα+ plasma cells are associated with more severe nasal polyposis in AERD. Alveolar monocyte-derived macrophages and their persistent proinflammatory activation were suggested as putative factors contributing to AERD. Although not AERD-specific, three biological agents are now available for the management of both nasal polyposis and asthma.
A newly downstream product of 15-lipoxygenase, 15-Oxo-ETE, was recently found to be significantly elevated in nasal polyps from AERD patients. This eicosanoid metabolite likely originates from an interplay between epithelial cells and mast cells. Nasal polyp basophils, IL-5Rα+ plasma cells, and alveolar macrophages were identified as important contributors to inflammation in AERD. Besides traditional aspirin desensitization and treatment for AERD management, several biologics for treatment of asthma are available, including three that have been approved for nasal polyposis. These biologic agents show variable rates of success in controlling AERD symptoms.