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  GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE 

Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2004 September;50(3):205-14

Copyright © 2004 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Gastroesophageal reflux and chronic cough

Everett C. F., Morice A. H.


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Gastroesophageal reflux (GOR) disease is one of the 3 commonest causes of chronic cough. It can be difficult to diagnose as the traditionally recognised symptoms of GOR, such as heartburn and acid regurgitation, are often absent. More subtle indicators of a link between the cough and the oesophagus should therefore be sought. These include cough which occurs in relation to eating or phonation, cough which settles at night and does not tend to wake the patient from sleep and symptoms suggestive of laryngopharyngeal reflux. Investigations such as oesophageal manometry and 24 hour pH monitoring can be useful in characterising any underlying oesophageal abnormality, but may underestimate the problem since non-acid reflux can precipitate cough. Empirical trials of treatment are therefore often employed, but should be continued for at least 2 months, as symptoms can be slow to improve due to plasticity of the cough reflex. Pharmacologic treatment options include proton pump inhibitors, H2 receptor antagonists, pro-motility agents and liquid alginate preparations. Surgical fundoplication can also be effective when performed in appropriately selected individuals.

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