Anatomy and Neurophysiology of Cough: CHEST Guideline and Expert Panel Report

Brendan J. Canning, Anne B. Chang, Donald C. Bolser, Jaclyn A. Smith, Stuart B. Mazzone, Lorcan McGarvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)


Bronchopulmonary C-fibers and a subset of mechanically sensitive, acid-sensitive myelinated sensory nerves play essential roles in regulating cough. These vagal sensory nerves terminate primarily in the larynx, trachea, carina and large intrapulmonary bronchi. Other bronchopulmonary sensory nerves, sensory nerves innervating other viscera as well as somatosensory nerves innervating the chest wall, diaphragm and abdominal musculature regulate cough patterning and cough sensitivity. The responsiveness and morphology of the airway vagal sensory nerve subtypes and the extrapulmonary sensory nerves that regulate coughing are described. The brainstem and higher brain control systems that process this sensory information are complex, but our current understanding of them is considerable and increasing. The relevance of these neural systems to clinical phenomena, such as urge to cough and psychological methods for treatment of dystussia, is high and modern imaging methods have revealed potential neural substrates for some features of cough in the human.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1633-1648
Number of pages16
Issue number6
Early online date04 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

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