Upper esophageal sphincter and esophageal motility in patients with chronic cough and reflux: assessment by high-resolution manometry

Dis Esophagus. 2013 Apr;26(3):219-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-2050.2012.01354.x. Epub 2012 May 16.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cough / physiopathology*
  • Deglutition / physiology
  • Esophageal Motility Disorders / physiopathology
  • Esophageal Sphincter, Lower / physiopathology
  • Esophageal Sphincter, Upper / physiopathology*
  • Esophageal pH Monitoring
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Laryngopharyngeal Reflux / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Manometry / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Peristalsis / physiology
  • Pharynx / physiopathology
  • Pressure
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult