Cough reflex by ventricular premature contractions

Int Heart J. 2005 Sep;46(5):923-6. doi: 10.1536/ihj.46.923.


A 72-year-old man was referred for further assessment of a chronic cough. He noticed an association between the episodes of coughing and palpitations. Electrocardiography (ECG) revealed normal sinus rhythm and sporadic unifocal ventricular premature contractions (VPCs). Each cough was preceded by a premature beat. Continuous wave Doppler echocardiography revealed a VPC-induced transient increase in the pulmonary artery blood flow. He was successfully treated for VPCs with oral disopyramide, resulting in subsidence of both the coughing and palpitations. We suspect that the VPC-induced hemodynamic changes in the pulmonary circulation might be responsible for coughing in our patient. Premature contractions should be considered as a possible cause of chronic dry cough in the clinical setting.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cough / etiology*
  • Disopyramide / therapeutic use
  • Echocardiography, Doppler
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ventricular Premature Complexes / complications*
  • Ventricular Premature Complexes / diagnosis*
  • Ventricular Premature Complexes / drug therapy


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Disopyramide