Cough and asthma

Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2007 Jan;13(1):44-8. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0b013e328011391c.


Purpose of review: The intention of this article is to discuss and place into perspective recent articles on cough and asthma.

Recent findings: Asthma continues to be a major diagnosis in most studies of cough. The first prospective study of sub-acute cough demonstrated an asthma incidence lower than that for chronic cough, a logical finding; upper airway cough syndrome often causes cough in the postinfectious state. The first prospective study of cough in infants suggested asthma to be a minor cause of cough in infants, but methodological flaws make the conclusions uncertain. Efforts to separate cough-variant asthma from classic asthma continue. One group has demonstrated that the maximal bronchoconstrictor response in cough-variant asthma is blunted when compared with classic asthma, a possible explanation for the absence of wheeze and dyspnea in cough-variant asthma. Another look at airway resistance showed a less rapid rate of rise in resistance in cough-variant asthma with increasing methacholine dosing than in classic asthma. On the biochemical front, a group has demonstrated differences in vascular endothelial growth factor, which may be the underpinnings of differences between cough-variant asthma and classic asthma.

Summary: Recent data suggest that cough-variant asthma is part of a continuum in the expression of asthma symptoms and in the asthmatic inflammatory response.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Airway Resistance / drug effects
  • Asthma / complications*
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / physiopathology*
  • Bronchoconstrictor Agents / pharmacology
  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cough / drug therapy
  • Cough / etiology*
  • Cough / physiopathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Methacholine Chloride / pharmacology
  • Pneumonia / complications
  • Pneumonia / physiopathology


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Bronchoconstrictor Agents
  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Methacholine Chloride