Chest. 2021 Jun 22:S0012-3692(21)01159-4. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2021.05.071. Online ahead of print.
In many studies, more than half of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) endorse cough. In IPF (as in other conditions), when chronic, cough may be frustrating and lead to significant impairments in quality of life. In patients with IPF, comorbid conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux can cause or contribute to cough; when stemming from IPF itself, chronic cough likely arises from multiple mechanisms including mechanical and neurosensory changes. In this article, we review our approach at attempting to identify causes of chronic cough in patients with IPF; these include gastroesophageal reflux disease or upper airway cough syndrome and IPF itself. We cursorily summarize the current evidence for the treatment of chronic cough in IPF, briefly review data on the treatment of unexplained chronic cough and extrapolate it to the treatment of refractory cough in IPF, but we focus our attention on our approaches to evaluation and management, recognizing some may not be supported by a robust cache of data.