Chronic cough

Chronic cough is a topic covered in the Diagnosaurus.

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  • Top 3 causes: postnasal drip, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Don’t miss

  • Pertussis

Pulmonary infectious

  • Postviral
  • Bronchitis, especially in smokers
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC)
  • Pertussis
  • Mycoplasma
  • Chlamydia
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  • Parasites, eg, ascariasis, paragonimiasis

Pulmonary noninfectious

  • Asthma (cough-variant asthma)
  • Beta-blockers causing asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Irritant inhalation, eg, smoking
  • Endobronchial lesion, eg, tumor
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Chronic microaspiration


  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Postnasal drip (allergic rhinitis)
  • Sinusitis
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Laryngitis
  • Ear canal or tympanic membrane irritation
  • Psychogenic or habit cough

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Last updated: February 24, 2015