The Spectrum of Non-asthmatic Airway Diseases Contributing to Cough in the Adult

Sidney S. Braman, Armeen Poor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Cough becomes a pathologic reflex when the airways are inflamed and overwhelmed with excessive mucus. The goal of this review is to discuss acute and chronic cough syndromes caused by non-asthmatic airway diseases. Recent Findings: Acute cough syndrome is short-lived and self-limited. Acute bronchitis and diffuse acute infectious bronchiolitis (DAIB) are examples. The former is usually caused by a viral illness; the latter by Mycoplasma pneumoniae, influenza, and Haemophilus influenzae. Causes of chronic cough in the adult include chronic bronchitis, non-infectious bronchiolitis, and non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. Summary: Supportive measures are recommended for acute bronchitis and antibiotic use is discouraged. Antibiotics may be needed for DAIB. Smoking cessation and bronchodilators can control cough in chronic bronchitis. Therapeutic approaches for non-infectious bronchiolitis depend on the varied etiology. The hallmark of bronchiectasis is a chronic infection of the airways, and antibiotics, mucus clearance measures, and bronchodilators are all supportive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-115
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Otorhinolaryngology Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2019


  • Acute bronchiolitis
  • Acute bronchitis
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic cough
  • Non-infectious bronchiolitis


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