Gastroesophageal reflux is known to cause chronic cough and is also implicated in worsening of asthma. We conducted a prospective study to examine the clinical significance of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in asthmatic patients with chronic cough to analyze the temporal relationship between reflux events and coughing and to assess the effect of esomeprazole treatment on respiratory symptoms and lung function in these patients. Asthmatic patients (126) with chronic dry cough were studied. Diagnosis of GERD was based on typical symptoms and the effectiveness of therapeutic test or on pH monitoring. Patients without GERD (negative pH results) consisted of the control group. The results of pH monitoring showed that 64% of cough episodes were related to acid reflux and in 91% of reflux events preceded coughing. Esomeprazole treatment (40 mg/day for 3 months) not only diminished GERD symptoms but also improved asthma outcome Baseline FEV1 and PEF values increased significantly together with a decrease in symptom scores and the use of rescue medication. In most patients included in the extended part of the study for another 3 months, the dose of inhaled steroids could be reduced with sustained GERD therapy. Our data showing that reflux events preceded coughing in most cases and that treatment of GERD resulted in an improvement in different outcome measures of asthma suggest that GERD worsens asthma, and its treatment is of clinical importance to effectively manage these patients.
- Chronic cough
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Proton pump inhibitor
- Respiratory symptoms
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine