The researchers assessed the effects of antireflux surgery in patients whose chronic coughs were due to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) resistant to intensive medical therapy.
They published their findings in the April issue of Chest.
A total of 8 patients were included in the prospective trial.
All patients had an initial positive 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring study.
They then underwent serial 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring on gradually intensified medical therapy.
This was done until the percentage of time that esophageal pH was less than 4 was zero, and there were no acid reflux events greater than 4 minutes.
The effects of medical and surgical therapy on cough were assessed clinically by a visual analog scale (VAS) and the Adverse Cough Outcome Survey (ACOS).
| Cough improved in all patients following antireflux surgery.
Before surgery (median follow-up, 24 days), patients still complained of cough, VAS score was 73, and ACOS score was 15.
After surgery (median follow-up, 41 days and 1 year), cough improved in all, VAS score decreased to 19 and 23, respectively, and ACOS score decreased to 2 and 4, respectively.
Dr Richard S. Irwin, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, said on behal of his colleagues, "Antireflux surgery can improve chronic cough due to GERD resistant to intensive medical therapy."
"There is a clinical profile that can predict when GERD is the likely cause of cough.
"GERD cannot be excluded on clinical grounds as the potential cause of cough," he added.
"The term acid reflux disease, when applied to chronic cough due to GERD, can be a misnomer," he concluded.