cough variant asthma

Last reviewed 03/2019

In patients with cough variant asthma (CVA), chronic cough is the main (if not the sole) symptom present (1).

  • it is considered to be a variant type of asthma as well as a precursor to the development of  classical asthma (2)
    • CVA progresses to typical asthma in 17–37% of patients (3)
  • mostly seen in children
  • the patient may be normal during the day time but cough becomes problematic during the night

In these patients eosinophils in sputum, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, and in bronchial biopsy specimens is characteristic (3).

It is important to differentiate CVA from the so called eosinophilic bronchitis (EB) (1)

  • in eosinophilic bronchitis, patients have cough and eosinophils in sputum but spirometric tests and airway hyperresponsiveness is normal (1)
  • 50% of patients with CVA have associated EB (4).

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