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Pediatric cough: what the otolaryngologist needs to know

Palmer, Ryana; Anon, Jack Bb; Gallagher, Phila,c

Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery: June 2011 - Volume 19 - Issue 3 - p 204–209
doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e328345aa7c
Allergy: Edited by Berrylin Ferguson

Purpose of review Pediatric cough is a common complaint in 35% of preschool children and 9% of 7–11-year-olds. The cause of the cough is often elusive. This review article presents a framework from which to approach the pediatric patient with chronic cough.

Recent findings The cause of cough in the pediatric patient is often allergy, postnasal drip, asthma, or infection. The existence of cough-variant asthma has been brought into question and evidence is detailed in this article.

Summary The treatment of chronic cough in a pediatric population should be approached from a multidisciplinary team consisting of pulmonologists, gastroenterologists, allergists, immunologists and otolaryngologists. Once a specific diagnosis is determined, treatment should be specific to that diagnosis.

aMillcreek Community Hospital, USA

bUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

cAllergy and Asthma Associates of NW PA, USA

Correspondence to Jack B. Anon, MD, Clinical Professor Department of Otolaryngology, 3580 Peach Street, Erie, Pittsburgh, PA 16508, USA Tel: +1 814 864 9994; fax: +1 814 864 1909; e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.