Five patients with asthma and severe aspirin hypersensitivity were challenged on separate days with increasing doses of aspirin given by mouth, starting with 5 mg, until a reduction in FEV1 greater than 15% was obtained. Sodium cromoglycate in doses of 20-40 mg inhibited the bronchoconstrictive reaction not only when inhaled before the challenge but also after it, at a time when progressive reduction in FEV1 values was taking place. According to these results, it seems reasonable to postulate sequential mast cell degranulation and liberation of mediators of anaphylaxis as the mechanism through which aspirin induces bronchoconstriction in aspirin-sensitive asthmatics. The differences between bronchial provocation tests and oral challenge with aspirin are stressed.
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