Childhood chronic cough made easy: a simplified approach for the primary care setting

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Grigorios Chatziparasidis
Sotirios Fouzas
Ahmad Kantar


cough, children, chronic cough, cough syndromes, diagnostic algorithm


Cough is a defense mechanism, but when it becomes persistent and troublesome, it must be carefully assessed. Chronic cough, that is, cough persisting for more than 4 weeks, has a proven negative impact on a child’s quality of life; it interferes with daily activities, sleep, and schooling and may involve frequent health care visits and long-lasting treatments. Currently, there is a plethora of algorithms in the literature aiming to assist in the assessment of chronic cough in children; however, referring to complex flowcharts may be impractical for the usually busy primary care physician. Herein, we provide a simplified tool for the assessment of children with chronic cough in the primary care setting, presenting a basic approach to the most common causes along with hints to avoid common pitfalls in everyday practice. Finally, the most common clinical scenarios are analyzed, aiming to assist primary care physicians in providing the appropriate care to these patients.

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