ASA Triad (Samter's Triad)

What is ASA Triad (Samter’s Triad) ?

A percentage of asthma patients also have an adverse reaction to aspirin. In fact, ASA stands for acetylsalicylic acid, which is aspirin. However, patients can also react to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen. A patient with ASA triad tends also to develop chronic rhinosinusitis, nasal polyps, and severe bronchial asthma. 

At the Yale Sinus and Allergy Program, we successfully treat patients with ASA Triad.

Symptoms of ASA Triad (Samter’s Triad)

The most common symptoms of ASA triad is rhinitis, or inflammation or irritation of the inner lining of the nose. Rhinitis is symptomized by sneezing, runny nose, or congestion. Asthma, nasal polyps, and aspirin sensitivity generally follow as the disorder progresses. 

A reaction to aspirin or NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen) can include severe asthma attacks and other reactions that may leave the patient unable to breathe. Alcohol may induce the same reaction.

This information should be used as a guideline. Not every symptom is included. If you have one or more of these symptoms, it does not mean that you have ASA Triad. Please contact your doctor if you think you may have this disorder.

Risk Factors of ASA Triad (Samter's Triad)

Having asthma, nasal problems, and nasal polyps may put you at a greater risk for developing ASA Triad. 

Anything that increases your chance of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get ASA Triad; not having risk factors does not mean that you will not get ASA Triad. If you think you may be at risk, you should talk to your doctor. 

Treatment for ASA Triad (Samter's Triad)

To treat sensitivity to aspirin, patients are desensitized by being reintroduced to aspirin under clinical supervision. 

Even once desensitized, patients may still have chronic rhinosinusitis and nasal polyps. These patients can sometimes be managed using a variety of medications, including oral or topical nasal steroids. Sometimes, patients may require removal of nasal polyps via a minimally invasive technique called endoscopic surgery. The term “endoscopic” refers to the use of small nasal telescopes that allow all of the surgery to be performed through the nostrils, without the need for any incisions on the face. The surgeon then gently removes any nasal polyps. 

At the Yale Sinus and Allergy Program, our surgeons specialize in endoscopic nasal surgery and the management of chronic rhinitis symptoms. Your overall well-being is our first priority, which is why we take the time to discuss your needs and concerns regarding your condition, treatment, the surgical process, and what you can expect.