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Jornal de Pneumologia
On-line version ISSN 1678-4642
JACOMELLI, Márcia; SOUZA, Rogério and PEDREIRA JUNIOR, Wilson Leite. Chronic cough in non-smokers. J. Pneumologia [online]. 2003, vol.29, n.6, pp.413-420. ISSN 1678-4642. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-35862003000600016.
Cough is the main physiological mechanism responsible for the clearance of secretions from airways, acting as an important defense mechanism. However, the presentation of chronic cough is one of the most important causes for patients to seek medical attention all over the world, thus the significance of the correct recognition of all the factors related to the process of cough. Among those factors, some are of extreme importance, since they may be present in almost 95% of the cases: post-nasal drip syndrome, asthma and gastroesophageal reflux disease. The main step for a successful therapy for chronic cough is a rational and progressive diagnostic approach, narrowing the list of possible diagnosis and allowing the institution of a treatment with a better cost-effectiveness. The proposal of an algorithm focusing on the most common causes of chronic cough may be helpful in this initial approach.
Keywords : Chronic cough; Diagnostic algorithm; Asthma; Postnasal drip syndrome; Gastroesophageal reflux disease.