The tussive effect of hyperpnea with cold air

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1985 Mar;131(3):362-7. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1985.131.3.362.


The tussive and bronchoconstrictive effects of hyperpnea with cold air (HCA) are described in 3 patients with exercise-induced cough, 7 volunteers with exercise-induced cough, and 7 asymptomatic volunteers. Cough associated with HCA exceeded baseline cough in each of the patients and volunteers with exercise-induced cough and in all but one of the asymptomatic volunteers. The time course of cough was similar in each group. Maximal cough frequency occurred during the first 5 min after HCA and persisted to a much lesser degree during the ensuing 26 min. The time course of bronchoconstriction was similar to that of cough, with maximal decrements in specific airway conductance measured 5 min after HCA. Pretreatment with albuterol blocked HCA-induced bronchoconstriction but had no effect on HCA-induced cough. No subject in any of the 3 groups was hyperreactive to methacholine aerosols. In subjects who are nonhyperreactive to methacholine aerosols, HCA has a characteristic, reproducible, and predictable tussive effect. Thus, HCA may be a useful tool for investigating the mechanism of cough and for evaluation of antitussive drugs.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air
  • Bronchi / physiopathology*
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Cough / etiology
  • Cough / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methacholine Chloride
  • Methacholine Compounds / pharmacology
  • Physical Exertion
  • Respiration*
  • Respiratory Function Tests


  • Methacholine Compounds
  • Methacholine Chloride