, Volume 186, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 78-81
Date: 16 Nov 2007

Does Idiopathic Cough Exist?

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Despite a meticulous protocol involving diagnostic testing and trials of empirical therapy, there may be no obvious cause for a chronic cough in up to 42% of cases referred for specialist evaluation. In some cases, failure to consider causes that include the asthma/eosinophilic airway syndromes such as eosinophilic bronchitis and atopic cough, or nonacid gastroesophageal reflux disease may explain diagnostic failure. However, a distinct group of patients may be considered to have true idiopathic cough. Current published evidence suggests a certain patient phenotype, namely, middle-aged females with prolonged nonproductive cough and cough reflex hypersensitivity. Almost nothing else is known about this clinical entity and currently no specific therapy exists.