Chronic cough in children – diagnostic and therapeutic problem
Klinika Pediatrii, Nefrologii i Alergologii Dziecięcej Wojskowego Instytutu Medycznego w Warszawie.
Kierownik Kliniki: prof. dr hab. n. med. Anna Jung Adres do korespondencji: Klinika Pediatrii, Nefrologii i Alergologii Dziecięcej CSK MON WIM, ul. Szaserów 128, 04‑141 Warszawa, tel.: 22 681 72 36
Praca finansowana ze środków własnych
Pediatr Med rodz Vol 8 Numer 2, p. 97-100
Coughing is a physiological defence mechanism against irritants that stimulate respiratory mucosa. On the other hand, it can be the first symptom of a disease. Depending on symptoms duration we distinguish acute cough, subacute and chronic cough. Cough can be paroxysmal, characteristic to asthma and pertussis or “barking” with inspiratory dyspnea occurring in croup (laryngitis subglottica); it can be also dry or productive. A particular type of cough is a postinfectious cough resulting from damage of respiratory mucosa, increased sensitivity of cough receptor and bronchial hyperresponsiveness. There is also psychogenic cough, cough accompanying allergic diseases and provoked by some drugs. Diagnosis of chronic cough include a detailed clinical history, physical examination and additional diagnostic tests. Among infectious agents, that predispose to long‑term cough, there are viruses, particularly human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), atypical organisms – Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Legionella pneumophila, and bacteria, especially Bordetella pertussis. Apart from infectious diseases, the analysis of causes of cough in young children include the presence of gastroesophageal reflux, allergic diseases (especially asthma), chronic sinusitis, aspiration of foreign material, congenital structural abnormalities of the respiratory system and chronic respiratory diseases, including cystic fibrosis or primary ciliary dyskineswia. A cardiac causes of cough should also be considered. Often cough characteristics and accompanying symptoms may indicate its cause. In the treatment of cough we can use casual treatment and symptomatic medications among which there are antitussives and mucoactive drugs. It is permissible to use butamirate and levodropropizine in persistent dry cough. Administration of opioid agonists and preparations containing promethazine should be avoided. Mucoactive drugs include expectorants, mucolytic, mucoregulatory and mucoregulatory medications.
Keywords: cough, children, aetiology, diagnosis, treatment