J Korean Med Sci.  2002 Oct;17(5):616-620. 10.3346/jkms.2002.17.5.616.

Cough Sensitivity and Extrathoracic Airway Responsiveness to Inhaled Capsaicin in Chronic Cough Patients

  • 1Division of Allergy and Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. hbmoon@amc.seoul.kr


Enhanced cough response has been frequently observed in chronic cough. Recently, extrathoracic airway constriction to inhaled histamine was demonstrated in some chronic cough patients. However, relation between extrathoracic airway hyperresponsiveness (EAHR) and cough sensitivity determined by capsaicin inhalation is unclear in each etiological entity of chronic cough. Seventy-seven patients, with dry cough persisting for 3 or more weeks, normal spirometry and chest radiography, and 15 controls, underwent methacholine bronchial provocation test and capsaicin cough provocation test. Elicited cough number and flow-volume curve was examined after inhalation of capsaicin to evaluate cough sensitivity and EAHR. Thirty-three patients, with postnasal drip, showed normal extrathoracic airway responsiveness, and 27 of them showed normal cough sensitivity to capsaicin. Cough sensitivity was enhanced in 14 patients with cough variant asthma (CVA) who showed bronchial hyperresponsiveness; EAHR to inhaled capsaicin was present in 12 of them. The remaining 30 patients were tentatively diagnosed as idiopathic chronic cough (ICC). Eleven ICC patients showed enhanced cough sensitivity and EAHR to inhaled capsaicin while 19 patients showed normal values. These results indicate that cough sensitivity is closely related with extrathoracic airway responsiveness during capsaicin provocation in some chronic cough patients. EAHR and enhanced cough sensitivity to inhaled capsaicin may be a part of mechanism developing chronic cough.


Cough; Hypersensitivity; Airway Obstruction; Capsaicin

MeSH Terms

Administration, Inhalation
Bronchial Hyperreactivity/*etiology/physiopathology
Bronchial Provocation Tests
Capsaicin/*administration & dosage
Case-Control Studies
Chronic Disease
Methacholine Chloride/diagnostic use
Middle Aged

Cited by  1 articles

Chronic cough in Korean adults: a literature review on common comorbidity
Sung-Yoon Kang, Gun-Woo Kim, Woo-Jung Song, Yoon-Seok Chang, Sang-Heon Cho
Asia Pac Allergy. 2016;6(4):198-206.    doi: 10.5415/apallergy.2016.6.4.198.

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