GERD-related cough: pathophysiology and diagnostic approach

Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2011 Jun;13(3):247-56. doi: 10.1007/s11894-011-0192-x.


Chronic cough is a common problem resulting in significant impairment of quality of life. Along with cough variant asthma and nasal disease, gastroesophageal reflux is considered one of three main causes of cough. Despite this, acid suppression therapy is often far from effective. This review aims to explore whether reflux can lead to cough, the circumstances in which this is most likely to occur, and the potential mechanisms linking these processes. Particular mechanisms to be explored include laryngopharyngeal reflux, microaspiration, and neuronal cross-organ sensitization. Finally, diagnostic approaches are considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Cough / diagnosis*
  • Cough / etiology*
  • Cough / physiopathology
  • Electric Impedance
  • Esophageal pH Monitoring
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Esophagus / innervation
  • Esophagus / physiopathology
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications*
  • Humans
  • Respiratory Aspiration