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Abstract

Background:

Aspirin (ASA) is the drug of choice in patients with coronary artery disease for primary and secondary prevention. This poses a problem for those patients reporting hypersensitivity to this drug or class of drugs.

Hypothesis:

Desensitization to ASA may be carried out safely and effectively in patients with reported ASA or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) hypersensitivity needing ASA for cardiac indications. Our 7-step protocol is one choice for a rapid desensitization protocol.

Methods:

A retrospective chart review was conducted evaluating ASA desensitization in patients with reported ASA or NSAID hypersensitivity and a cardiac indication for ASA.

Results:

In 160 evaluations over 15 years, 89 desensitizations were performed in both the inpatient and outpatient setting with only 16 reactions (18%). Eleven of these 16 patients (68.7%) were able to take daily ASA. Twenty-six desensitization procedures were performed with our 7-step rapid desensitization protocol in 10 inpatients and 16 outpatients with 3 reactions (18.75% of reactions). Initial reaction to ASA involving angioedema and reacting to ASA within the past year increased the risk of having a reaction to desensitization.

Conclusions:

Desensitization may be safely performed in patients with reported ASA or NSAID hypersensitivity and a cardiac indication for ASA. Our 7-step rapid protocol may be used in both the inpatient and outpatient setting to desensitize these patients. Patients who had angioedema with ASA ingestion or a reaction to ASA within the past year are at higher risk for reaction during the desensitization protocol.

The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.