BACKGROUND - Cough may be a manifestation of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The utility of acid suppression in GERD-related cough is uncertain.
AIM - To assess the impact of high-dose acid suppression with proton pump inhibitors (PPI) on chronic cough in subjects with rare or no heartburn.
METHODS - Subjects were nonsmokers without history of asthma, with chronic cough for >8 weeks. All subjects underwent a baseline 24-h pH/impedance study, methacholine challenge test and laryngoscopy. Subjects were randomised to either 40 mg of esomeprazole twice daily or placebo for 12 weeks. The primary outcome measure was the Cough-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (CQLQ). Secondary outcomes were response on Fisman Cough Severity/Frequency scores and change in laryngeal findings.
RESULTS - Forty subjects were randomised (22 PPI, 18 placebo) and completed the study. There was no difference between PPI and placebo in CQLQ (mean improvement 9.8 vs. 5.9 respectively, P = 0.3), or Fisman Cough Severity/Frequency scores. Proportion of patients who improved by >1 s.d. on the CQLQ was 27.8% (five of 18) and 31.8% (seven of 22) in the placebo and PPI groups respectively.
CONCLUSION - In subjects with chronic cough and rare or no heartburn, high-dose proton pump inhibitor does not improve cough-related quality of life or symptoms.
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.