The pathophysiology of chronic cough and its association with dsymotility and laryngopharyngeal reflux remains unclear. This study applied high-resolution manometry (HRM) to obtain a detailed evaluation of pharyngeal and esophageal motility in chronic cough patients with and without a positive reflux-cough symptom association probability (SAP). Retrospective analysis of 66 consecutive patients referred for investigation of chronic cough was performed. Thirty-four (52%) were eligible for inclusion (age 55 [19-77], 62% female). HRM (ManoScan 360, Given/Sierra Scientific Instruments, Mountain View, CA) with 10 water swallows was performed followed by a 24-hour ambulatory pH monitoring. Of this group, 21 (62%) patients had negative reflux-cough SAP (group A) and 13 (38%) had positive SAP (group B). Results from 23 healthy controls were available for comparison (group C). Detailed analysis revealed considerable heterogeneity. A small number of patients had pathological upper esophageal sphincter (UES) function (n=9) or esophageal dysmotility (n=1). The overall baseline UES pressure was similar, but average UES residual pressure was higher in groups A and B than in control group C (-0.2 and -0.8mmHg vs. -5.4mmHg; P<0.018 and P<0.005). The percentage of primary peristaltic contractions was lower in group B than in groups A and C (56% vs. 79% and 87%; P=0.03 and P<0.002). Additionally, intrabolus pressure at the lower esophageal sphincter was higher in group B than in group C (15.5 vs. 8.9; P=0.024). HRM revealed changes to UES and esophageal motility in patients with chronic cough that are associated with impaired bolus clearance. These changes were most marked in group B patients with a positive reflux-cough symptom association.
© 2012 Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation © 2012, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. and the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus.