Aspirine-sensitive asthma (ASA) is a disease defined only by clinical criteria. It is an intrinsic asthma related to a hypersensitivity to aspirin. The illness is linked to abnormalities in platelet and macrophage arachidonic acid metabolism. We assessed in vitro the platelet chemoluminescence (CL) and lymphocyte proliferative response of ASA patients. We observed that platelets from patients and controls do not generate any CL in the presence of aspirin. Concerning the proliferative response of lymphocytes, the in vitro effect of aspirin depends upon the origin of the lymphocytes tested. Thus aspirin clearly enhances the proliferative response of lymphocytes from normal subjects but diminishes the thymidine uptake by lymphocytes from ASA patients. This discrepancy in the in vitro response of lymphocytes from normal subjects and patients might be useful for in vitro diagnosis of ASA.

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