Chronic cough: eosinophilic bronchitis without asthma

Lancet. 1989 Jun 17;1(8651):1346-8. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(89)92801-8.


Sputum cell-counts were studied in 7 non-smokers with corticosteroid-responsive chronic cough productive of sputum and 8 smokers with a clinical diagnosis of chronic bronchitis, all of whom had normal lung function tests and methacholine airway responsiveness, and in 10 non-smokers with asthma, examined during an exacerbation. Sputum from asthmatic patients and subjects with corticosteroid-responsive cough contained eosinophils and metachromatic cells. Macrophages were by far the dominant cell type in sputum from subjects with chronic bronchitis. Airway inflammation with eosinophils and metachromatic cells is not always accompanied by increased airway responsiveness, and current definitions of obstructive airways disease may need to be revised.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / complications*
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests / adverse effects
  • Bronchitis / complications*
  • Bronchitis / drug therapy
  • Bronchitis / physiopathology
  • Cell Count
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cough / etiology*
  • Eosinophils
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macrophages
  • Male
  • Mast Cells
  • Methacholine Compounds
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Eosinophilia / complications*
  • Pulmonary Eosinophilia / drug therapy
  • Pulmonary Eosinophilia / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Sputum / cytology


  • Methacholine Compounds