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Rev Pneumol Clin. 1991;47(2):75-9.

[Isolated cough and bronchial asthma].

[Article in French]

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  • 1D├ępartement de M├ędecine interne, Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc Belgique.


Over an 18-month period 31 patients (27 female and 4 male) were referred to the ENT department of our clinic for a 1-month to 14-year history of isolated non-productive cough. As ENT examination, including posterior rhinoscopy, was normal, these patients were sent to the pneumology department. Physical examination and X-ray films of the chest were negative, and the patients did not take an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor that could have induced this cough. Inhalation of acetylcholine lowered vital capacity by 32 +/- 14% and forced expiratory volume by 34 +/- 16%, a test which is the hallmark of bronchial hyperreactivity. Three patients were atopic. We believe that this cough can be the only manifestation of bronchial asthma. In these patients, cough was suppressed or strongly attenuated by the inhalation, 5 times a day, of salbutamol 200 mg puffs and beclomethasone dipropionate 250 mcg. In addition, the atopic patients were prescribed 10 puffs of sodium cromoglycate per day. Complaints of isolated non-productive cough must always suggest that possibility of bronchial asthma, and a bronchial provocation test must be performed to confirm this diagnosis.

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