Cough variant asthma

Cough variant asthma (CVA) occurs in all ages but is commonly seen in young children. CVA is manifested as a night-time cough without wheezing, and is thought to be a subset of asthma. Pulmonary function testing is often normal, but the child may have a positive response to a methcholine challenge [Todokoro: 2003], although a treatment trial is usually performed without this test.
Chronic cough is a common presentation to primary care providers, and if the cough is mainly nocturnal and has been present for greater than two weeks, a trial of asthma medications may be warranted for CVA. [Johnson: 1991] This is particularly true if there is a personal history of allergy and a family history of allergy and/or asthma. Medications may consist of bronchodilators, inhaled or oral corticosteroids, or leukotriene modifiers; no controlled studies to favor one class over the other have been performed. [Antoniu: 2007]
In one study in Japan, between one third and one half of children with chronic cough went on to develop typical asthma. [Todokoro: 2003]


Compiler: Information compiled by Medical Home Portal authors and staff
Content Last Updated: 9/2008

Page Bibliography

Antoniu SA, Mihaescu T, Donner CF.
Pharmacotherapy of cough-variant asthma.
Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2007;8(17):3021-8. PubMed abstract

Johnson D, Osborn LM.
Cough variant asthma: a review of the clinical literature.
J Asthma. 1991;28(2):85-90. PubMed abstract

Todokoro M, Mochizuki H, Tokuyama K, Morikawa A.
Childhood cough variant asthma and its relationship to classic asthma.
Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2003;90(6):652-9. PubMed abstract