Study objectives: Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is one of the most common causes of chronic cough, but the mechanisms of GER-related cough are not well-understood. We tested the hypothesis that gastric emptying is delayed in patients with GER-related chronic cough.
Design: We studied 12 patients (7 women; mean age, 53 years; age range, 37 to 68 years) with GER-related chronic cough and a control group of 27 asymptomatic healthy volunteers (16 women; mean age, 37 years; age range, 18 to 62 years). Gastric emptying scintigraphy was performed, and the time at which 50% of the radiolabeled material had left the stomach (T(1/2)) was calculated.
Results: There was no statistically significant difference in T(1/2) values between healthy volunteers and subjects with GER-related cough (99 +/- 26 min vs 86 +/- 20 min, respectively; difference between the means, 13 min [95% confidence interval, -4 to 30 min]; p = 0.13).
Conclusions: Gastric emptying was not delayed in patients with GER-related chronic cough. The measurement of gastric emptying did not therefore provide further insights into the mechanisms of GER-related cough or clinically relevant information that would assist in patient management.