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Airway oxidative stress in chronic cough.

Cough 2013 December 3
BACKGROUND: The mechanisms of chronic cough are unclear. Many reactive oxygen species affect airway sensory C-fibres which are capable to induce cough. Several chronic lung diseases are characterised by cough and oxidative stress. In asthma, an association between the cough severity and airway oxidative stress has been demonstrated. The present study was conducted to investigate whether airway oxidative stress is associated with chronic cough in subjects without chronic lung diseases.

METHODS: Exhaled breath condensate samples were obtained in 43 non-smoking patients with chronic cough and 15 healthy subjects. Exclusion criteria included a doctor's diagnosis of any lung disorders and any abnormality in lung x-ray. The concentration of 8-isoprostane was measured. In addition, the patients filled in Leicester Cough Questionnaire and underwent hypertonic saline cough provocation test, spirometry, ambulatory peak flow monitoring, nitric oxide measurement, and histamine airway challenge. In a subgroup of patients the measurements were repeated during 12 weeks' treatment with inhaled budesonide, 800 ug/day.

RESULTS: The 8-isoprostane concentrations were higher in the cough patients than in the healthy subjects (24.6 ± 1.2 pg/ml vs. 10.1 ± 1.7 pg/ml, p = 0.045). The 8-isoprostane concentration was associated with the Leicester Cough Questionnaire total score (p = 0.044) but not with the cough sensitivity to saline or other tests. Budesonide treatment did not affect the 8-isoprostane concentrations.

CONCLUSIONS: Chronic cough seems to be associated with airway oxidative stress in subjects with chronic cough but without chronic lung diseases. This finding may help to develop novel antitussive drugs.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study was registered in database (KUH5801112), identifier NCT00859274.

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