Influence of smoking status on cough reflex sensitivity in subjects with COPD

Kristina Stravinskaite, Brigita Sitkauskiene, Peter V. Dicpinigaitis, Agne Babusyte, Raimundas Sakalauskas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Cough reflex sensitivity has not been studied extensively in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The aim of the study was to evaluate cough reflex sensitivity to capsaicin in current and former smokers with COPD and examine its association with potentially protussive mediators. Fifteen active smokers and 18 ex-smokers with moderate to severe COPD, 14 healthy active smokers, and 13 healthy never smokers were enrolled. Capsaicin aerosol was administered in order of ascending concentration until the concentrations inducing two or more coughs (C2) and five or more coughs (C5) were attained. The concentrations of leukotriene E 4 (LTE4), leukotriene B4 (LTB4), and interleukin-8 (IL-8) in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid were analyzed by ELISA. Cough reflex sensitivity in COPD smokers [mean log C2 = 1.20 ± 0.23 (SEM) μM; log C5 = 1.85 ± 0.21 μM] did not differ from that in COPD ex-smokers (log C2 = 1.15 ± 0.14 μM; log C5 = 2.10 ± 0.19 μM; p > 0.05). Mean C 2 and C5 in both COPD groups were significantly lower than in healthy active smokers, but higher compared with the healthy never-smokers. BAL fluid concentrations of LTE4 and LTB4 were similar in all groups. IL-8 concentrations did not differ between COPD smokers, COPD ex-smokers, and healthy active smokers, but were significantly higher in all three groups compared with healthy never smokers. Cough reflex sensitivity to capsaicin does not differ between smokers and ex-smokers with COPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • COPD
  • Capsaicin
  • Cough
  • Mediators
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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