Clinical cough and its mechanisms

Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2006 Jul 28;152(3):363-71. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2005.11.011. Epub 2006 Jan 10.


Cough is the commonest symptom of clinical importance and the most frequent reason for new consultations with a doctor. Although therapy directed at any underlying cause for cough can be effective there is a clinical need for new treatments specifically directed at the cough itself. A major obstacle to the development of such therapy has been an imprecise understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for cough. In this article, we review the important clinical aspects of both acute and chronic cough, offer practical insight into the existing treatment options, highlight the current understanding of cough pathophysiology and identify important areas for future research effort.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antitussive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cough / etiology*
  • Cough / physiopathology*
  • Cough / therapy*
  • Humans


  • Antitussive Agents