Cough Features, Concomitant Symptoms, History Useful To Dete
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Cough timing, concomitant symptoms associated with gastroesophageal reflux or rhinitis/sinusitis and medical history are useful clinical characteristics that can aid in the prediction of causes of chronic cough, researchers reported.

The researchers evaluated 1,162 adults with chronic cough as a primary presenting symptom and identified patients with a single underlying cause. Patients completed a questionnaire to record clinical features of cough. The researchers then analyzed the relationships between these clinical features and cause of chronic cough.

In the cohort, 222 patients were diagnosed with cough variant asthma, 259 patients were diagnosed with eosinophilic bronchitis, 145 patients were diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux-related cough, 85 patients were diagnosed with upper airway cough syndrome and 451 patients were diagnosed with other causes.

Nocturnal cough alone was identified as a predictor of cough variant asthma. Heartburn belching and acid regurgitation indicated gastroesophageal reflux-related cough. Further, cough after meals was associated with a 91.2% specificity and 24.8% sensitivity for gastroesophageal reflux-related cough.

Postnasal drip and history of sinusitis indicated upper airway cough syndrome. Researchers reported that rhinitis/sinusitis-related symptoms showed moderate sensitivity and mild specificity for upper airway cough syndrome. Nocturnal cough indicates cough variant asthma. If a patient has reflux symptoms or cough after meals, gastroesophageal reflux-related cough should be considered.

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