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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2004 Mar;133(3):255-60. Epub 2004 Feb 17.

Aspirin sensitivity and IgE antibodies to Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxins in nasal polyposis: studies on the relationship.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.



Nasal polyposis is a multifactorial disease characterized by a chronic eosinophilic inflammation of the sinus mucosa, often associated with asthma and aspirin sensitivity. We have recently shown that the presence of IgE antibodies to Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxins (SAEs) was related to the severity of eosinophilic inflammation in nasal polyp tissue. In this study, we therefore aimed to determine, whether aspirin sensitivity was related to an immune response to SAEs, and how both criteria would be related to eosinophilic inflammation.


40 subjects with nasal polyposis (NP) were classified as aspirin-sensitive (n=13, ASNP) or aspirin-tolerant (n=27, ATNP) based on a bronchial aspirin challenge test. Homogenates prepared from nasal polyp tissue and inferior nasal turbinates from healthy subjects (n=12) were analyzed for concentrations of IL-5 by enzyme immunoassay and for ECP, total and IgE to a mix of SAEs (A, C, TSST-1) using the ImmunoCAP system.


Concentrations of IL-5, ECP, total IgE, and IgE to an SAE mix were significantly increased in ASNP compared with ATNP patients and controls. In addition, a subgroup analysis showed an increase in eosinophilic markers in ATNP-SAE(+) compared to ATNP-SAE(-). This relationship, however, was not found in ATNP-SAE(+) and ATNP-SAE(-) subjects, indicating that SAE immune response is overlapped or not relevant in this condition.


Aspirin sensitivity was associated with increased concentrations of eosinophil-related mediators, as well as IgE antibodies to SAEs in nasal polyp tissue. However, a direct impact of S. aureus could not be established. It seems that aspirin sensitivity and immune reactions to SAEs are independently related to eosinophilic inflammation.

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