We review contemporary concepts of the pathophysiology of neurogenic cough, and its evaluation and treatment based on scientific publications addressing neurogenic cough. Neurogenic cough is thought to be the result of sensory neuropathy, most commonly idiopathic. Because it is principally a sensory phenomenon, clinical evaluation is challenging, the diagnosis most often being made by exclusion. Identification of motor paresis, either by laryngoscopy or laryngeal electromyography, may suggest the presence of sensory neuropathy. The utility of amitriptyline and gabapentin has been demonstrated in randomized clinical trials, and retrospective series and case reports have suggested efficacy of pregabalin, baclofen, and botulinum toxin. Sensory neuropathy appears to be an important cause of chronic refractory cough, and appears amenable to treatment with a variety of pharmacologic agents.
Keywords: Cough; laryngeal neuropathy; neurogenic cough; paresis; vagus.
© 2015 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.