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Future Cardiol. 2012 Jul;8(4):555-62. doi: 10.2217/fca.12.38.

Aspirin sensitivity and coronary artery disease: implications for the practicing cardiologist.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy & Immunology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 956 Court Avenue, Memphis, TN, USA.


Aspirin is the most commonly used antiplatelet agent in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). It continues to play a key role as an antiplatelet agent given its long-term safety, efficacy and low cost. Aspirin or NSAID hypersensitivity is not an uncommon occurrence and can vary from generalized urticaria and angioedema to exacerbation of upper and lower respiratory tract reactions. It is not uncommon for clinicians to avoid using aspirin and alternative agents when encountering aspirin hypersensitivity among CAD patients. However, given the critical role of aspirin in CAD patients, particularly among those who receive the drug-eluting stents, aspirin desensitization can be useful. This article highlights the importance of aspirin desensitization, the mechanism and the process involved. We draw attention to recently described rapid desensitization protocols and how they can be more useful than the old procedure.

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