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Chronic cough: an otorhinolaryngology perspective

Athanasiadis, Theodorea; Allen, Jacqui E.b

Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery: December 2013 - Volume 21 - Issue 6 - p 517–522
doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e3283658eca

Purpose of review Cough lasting more than 8 weeks is a common presenting complaint to the otolaryngologist. Historically, chronic cough has been attributed to post-nasal drip, laryngopharyngeal reflux and cough-variant asthma. This study reviews chronic cough from the viewpoint of an otolaryngologist.

Recent findings More recent studies suggest the influence of laryngeal neuropathy and its interplay with laryngopharyngeal reflux. There is limited evidence for post-nasal drip or cough-variant asthma causing chronic cough.

Summary In this study, we review the evidence for cause of chronic cough, as well as up to date techniques for the otolaryngologist, including transnasal esophagoscopy, to assess the patient in clinic allowing accurate diagnosis. Treatment options for the otolaryngologist are discussed and the role of multidisciplinary input emphasized.

aFlinders University of South Australia, Adelaide Voice Specialists, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

bUniversity of Auckland, North Shore Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand

Correspondence to Dr Theodore Athanasiadis, MBBS, PhD, FRACS, Senior Lecturer, Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide Voice Specialists, 211 Frome St, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Tel: +61 8 8223 3399; fax: +61 8 8232 1169; e-mail:

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins