Pulmonology Book

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Chronic Cough

Aka: Chronic Cough
  1. See Also
    1. Pediatric Chronic Cough
  2. Definition
    1. Cough duration longer than 8 weeks
  3. Causes
    1. See Chronic Cough Causes
    2. Pertussis is responsible for 20% of severe cough in adults and teens >2 weeks presenting to emergency departments
      1. Senzilet (2001) Clin Infect Dis 32:1691-7
  4. History
    1. Tobacco Smoking
      1. Packs per day
      2. Morning cough
    2. Post-nasal drainage (typically presents with Globus sensation)
      1. Allergic Rhinitis
      2. Sinusitis
    3. Asthma
      1. Night cough
      2. Environmental irritants
      3. Atopic Family History
    4. Gastroesophageal Reflux
      1. Cough Worse supine (exception in Reflux Laryngitis which is worse in upright position)
      2. Cough relieved with Antacids?
      3. Frequent throat clearing
    5. Chronic Bronchitis
      1. Productive cough
      2. Tobacco Smoker
    6. Medications
      1. ACE Inhibitors
    7. Airway Hyperresponsive
      1. Recent Upper Respiratory Infection or Bronchitis
        1. Bordatella Pertussis
        2. Chlamydia pneumoniae
        3. Mycoplasma pneumoniae
        4. Influenza
        5. RSV
        6. Parainfluenza
      2. Non-productive cough
    8. Cancer or Tuberculosis Symptoms
      1. Night Sweats
      2. Hemoptysis
      3. Weight loss
  5. Imaging
    1. Chest XRay
      1. Indicated in most cases of Chronic Cough
      2. Conditions resulting in abnormal findings
        1. Bronchiectasis
        2. Bronchogenic Carcinoma
        3. Tuberculosis
        4. Sarcoidosis
        5. Peristant Pneumonia
    2. Chest CT Indications
      1. Elucidate abnormal Chest XRay
  6. Management: Initial Interventions
    1. General
      1. Consider Chest XRay unless cause is obvious
      2. Algorithm applies to non-urgent cough evaluation
      3. Immunocompromised patients require urgent evaluation
    2. Avoid Lung toxins
      1. Tobacco Cessation
      2. See Occupational Asthma
    3. Discontinue ACE Inhibitor if using
      1. Convert to Angiotensin Receptor Blocker
      2. Reassess after 4 weeks
    4. If suspect post-Bronchitis airway hyper-responsiveness
      1. Consider Pertussis
      2. Consider Inhaled Corticosteroids
      3. Consider inhaled Ipratropium Bromide (Atrovent)
    5. If Suspect Chronic Bronchitis
      1. Tobacco Cessation
      2. Bronchodilators
    6. Consider infectious cause evaluation
      1. Purified Protein Derivative (PPD) for Tuberculosis
      2. Nasopharyngeal swab PCR for Bordetella pertussis
  7. Management: Step 1 - Treat empirically for postnasal drip
    1. Diagnoses to consider
      1. Upper Airway Cough Syndrome (UACS)
      2. Acute Sinusitis or Chronic Sinusitis
      3. Allergic Rhinitis
      4. Vasomotor Rhinitis
    2. Medications to consider
      1. Consider Decongestant and Antihistamine combination
      2. Consider using First Generation Antihistamine
        1. Example: Chlorpheniramine
        2. Non-Sedating Antihistamine may not be potent enough
      3. Intranasal Corticosteroids
      4. Atrovent nasal Inhaler (Vasomotor Rhinitis)
      5. Consider Acute Sinusitis Management
    3. Imaging to consider
      1. Sinus XRay or CT Sinuses
  8. Management: Step 2 - Evaluate for Asthma
    1. Consider cough-variant Asthma empiric trial
      1. Trial Bronchodilator with or without Inhaled Corticosteroid (e.g. Albuterol, Advair)
      2. Trial Leukotriene Receptor Antagonist (e.g. Singulair)
      3. Consider Prednisone 40 mg orally daily for 7-10 days
    2. Perform Pulmonary Function Tests
      1. FEV1 before and after Bronchodilator
      2. Consider Methacholine Challenge test
        1. High False Positive Rate (25%)
        2. Near 100% Negative Predictive Value
    3. Treat Asthma if present
      1. See Allergen Control
      2. Inhaled Corticosteroids or Cromolyn Sodium
      3. Inhaled Beta Agonist
  9. Management: Step 3 - Evaluate Pulmonary and Sinus Disease
    1. Chest XRay (if not already done)
    2. CT Sinuses
  10. Management: Step 4 - Treat for Gastroesophageal Reflux
    1. High Dose Proton-Pump Inhibitor
      1. Omeprazole (Prilosec) 20 to 80 mg PO qd
      2. Requires 2-3 months of therapy to eliminate cough
    2. Anti-Reflux Esophagitis measures
    3. Consider diagnostic testing
      1. Upper GI
      2. Upper Endoscopy
      3. 24 hour esophageal pH monitoring
  11. Management: Step 5 - Advanced lung diagnostics
    1. Consider Eosinophilic Bronchitis evaluation
      1. Obtain 3 induced Sputum samples
      2. Negative if Eosinophils <3% in Sputum
      3. Responds to oral or Inhaled Corticosteroids
    2. Pulmonology Consultation
      1. Bronchoscopy may be considered
    3. If pulmonary evaluation negative
      1. Repeat Asthma medications
      2. Repeat Antihistamine and Decongestant combinations
    4. Evaluate for less common etiologies
      1. See Chronic Cough Causes
  12. References
    1. Holmes (2004) Am Fam Physician 69(9):2159-66 [PubMed]
    2. Irwin (2000) N Engl J Med 343:1715-21 [PubMed]
    3. Smyrnios (1995) Chest 108:991-7 [PubMed]
    4. Philip (1997) Am Fam Physician 56(5): 1395-1402 [PubMed]
    5. Benich (2011) Am Fam Physician 84(8): 887-92 [PubMed]

Chronic cough (C0010201)

Concepts Sign or Symptom (T184)
SnomedCT 161930005, 139187006, 68154008
Dutch chronisch hoesten, chronisch; hoesten, hoesten; chronisch
French Toux chronique
German chronischer Husten
Italian Tosse cronica
Portuguese Tosse crónica
Spanish Tos crónica, tos crónica (hallazgo), tos crónica
Japanese 慢性咳嗽, マンセイガイソウ
English chronic cough (symptom), chronic cough, chronic coughing, cough chronic, chronic coughs, Chronic cough (disorder), Chronic cough, Chronic cough (finding), chronic; cough, cough; chronic
Czech Chronický kašel
Hungarian Chronikus köhögés
Sources
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)


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