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Cough Science News, June 1, 2024

June 1, 2024
Lola Jover

The Research Roundup

New cough science publications vetted and collected in one place

How significant is cough for patients with fibrotic interstitial lung disease (ILD)?

Key Takeaway: For patients with fibrotic ILD, cough is an important and common symptom, and patient-reported cough severity is independently correlated with quality of life, disease progression and survival. This study of patients enrolled in the Canadian Registry for Pulmonary Fibrosis from 2015-2022 also found that there was no difference in worsening cough over time comparing those receiving and not receiving ILD-targeted therapy.

Why It Matters: The study suggests cough can be considered a prognostic biomarker in both idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and non-IPF fibrotic ILD. Given cough is now objectively measurable whilst patients go about their daily life, this understanding of the importance of cough could lead to a greater utility for cough monitoring in the management of ILD patients.

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How effective are high-dose inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) in treating chronic cough?

Key Takeaway: Of 50 patients with chronic cough and FeNO greater than or equal to 25 ppb, 68% responded to treatment with ICS (200mg of fluticasone furoate), with significant improvement in cough and FeNO levels. However, cough and FeNO levels were not significantly correlated with each other.

Why It Matters: This study supports the many cough guidelines that propose a short-term trial of ICS in patients with chronic cough and high FeNO levels. However the lack of correlation between cough and FeNO following treatment suggests the direct mechanistic link between the two is not fully understood.

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How do family physicians diagnose and care for chronic cough patients in the US?

Key Takeaways: Family care physicians in the US typically follow a patient-centric approach to treating chronic cough, and see it as a condition that can be managed mostly within the primary care setting. Survey respondents ranked highest “I try to assess for and to rule out most common causes of chronic cough through tests and trials of medications before I refer to a specialist.” and lowest “I refer all or most patients with chronic cough to a specialist for full evaluation.”

Why it matters: Despite family physicians expressing comfort with managing and treating chronic cough themselves and adherence to appropriate guidelines, only a minority agreed or strongly agreed that they were confident in their abilities to evaluate and treat chronic cough as a condition. This suggests a need for more education to validate strategies for managing chronic cough.

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  • Pulmonary rehabilitation exercises effectively improve chronic cough after surgery for non-small cell lung cancer (read more)
  • Proton pump inhibitors slightly decrease the severity of chronic cough (read more)
  • The correlation patterns between cough-related symptoms vary significantly according to age and sex (read more)

Deep Dive with Researchers

Exploring the Possibilities of Longitudinal Cough Data

Q&A with Dr Simon Grandjean Lapierre, Assistant Professor at Université de Montréal

Dr Grandjean Lapierre spoke to Hyfe about his trial called “Making Cough Count for Tuberculosis”, involving building a large open-source database of cough sounds, and longitudinal cough monitoring of patients after they seek care or are diagnosed with TB.

“The cough data can help in triaging patients and improving clinical management by identifying those who need more urgent care. The real value is that it’s highly accessible and virtually cost-neutral.”

Read the full Q&A here.

Cough Science Events Ahead

7th Annual Digital Biomarkers in Clinical Trials Summit - Dr Mindaugas Galvosas, Digital Health Lead at Hyfe, will be meeting with academic and pharma sponsors involved in advancing the field of digital biomarkers in Basel, June 26th.  

World Bronchiectasis Conference - Hyfe will be at the leading conference for bronchiectasis science in Dundee, July 4-6th, and looking forward to discussing some early results from monitoring cough to assess treatment response.

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