[Chronic persistent cough in general practice: diagnosis and therapy in 329 patients over the course of 2 years]

Pneumologie. 1996 Jun;50(6):437-41.
[Article in German]


Chronic Cough: Chronic persistent cough (CPC) lasting from several months to years - without radiographic or spirometric evidence of its cause - was a surprisingly frequent reason (5,7% of all new referrals) to consult our practice. Sophisticated diagnostic evaluation and therapeutic regimen are necessary. We performed a prospective study on 329 consecutive patients (106 male, 223 female) over a two-year period. 65% of the patients had cough as a consequence of bronchial hyperresponsiveness; 27% due to upper airways disease, i.e. often very common rhinitis or pharyngitis; 14% chronic bronchitis; 5% gastrooesophageal reflux (GER); 3% drug induced cough; 4% other causes. 10% of the patients discontinued the diagnostic evaluation prematurely. In 14% the cause for CPC remained unclear and no relief could be achieved. Furthermore, there is a need for consecutive studies to address the following questions: 1. The cause of the striking difference in gender (male : female = 1 : 2) remains unclear. 2. Wether a cough recorder - as occasionally reported in the literature - is needed for an objective evaluation of cough [9]. 3. A standardised methodology of 24 h pH monitoring for the diagnosis of CPC as a consequence of GER has yet to be established.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / complications
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / diagnosis*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cough / etiology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / complications
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / diagnosis*