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Psychogenic Cough in Adults: A Report of Two Cases and Review of the Literature

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Psychogenic cough, also known as "habit cough," is a well-documented condition in the pediatric and adolescent population, with numerous cases reported in the medical literature. Many of these patients are strikingly similar in their clinical characteristics and, although the data are limited, a variety of treatment options may be successful in terminating this form of cough. However, psychogenic cough in adults has been reported infrequently and is less well defined. We report two cases of psychogenic cough in adult patients referred to our service for an evaluation of refractory, chronic cough and review the relevant medical literature. Our patients seemingly represent the first cases of psychogenic cough reported in the geriatric population and share clinical features with children, adolescents, and young adults. One case is unique in the sense that the cough responded to a distracter in the form of a throat lozenge, and this patient consumed ≥20 lozenges/ day for ~13 years. Psychogenic cough should be considered in adult patients who present with a chronic cough of no obvious organic basis that has failed therapy directed at postnasal drip, asthma, and gastroesophageal reflux. We propose criteria to assist in making a diagnosis of psychogenic cough in adult patients and review the limited information that exists concerning treatment modalities.
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Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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