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Related to paroxysmal cough: pertussis, whooping cough


sudden, forceful expiration of air from the lungs caused by an involuntary contraction of the muscles controlling the process of breathing. The cough is a response to some irritating condition such as inflammation or the presence of mucus (sputum) in the respiratory tract, as in infectious disease, or to heavy dust or industrial or tobacco smoke. Coughing may also be a reflex action to factors outside the respiratory tract; diseases that are not respiratory in nature (e.g., congestive heart failure or mitral valve disease) often bring on coughing. If there is mucus or a foreign substance in the respiratory tract, the cough should not be hindered since by this action the offending matter is expelled from the body. If, however, the cough becomes exhausting, sedation is indicated.



a reflex act usually occurring as a result of the irritation of the mucous membrane in the respiratory tract during an inflammatory process caused by pathological products (for example, sputum) or foreign bodies. A cough is one of the principal indications of disease in the respiratory organs (larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs). The cough center in the brain can sometimes be stimulated without irritation of the respiratory tracts. This is the so-called nervous cough that occurs in cases of fear and embarrassment. A distinction is made between a dry cough (without the formation and secretion of sputum) and a wet cough (with sputum).

The cough stimulus begins by deep inhalation, followed by a tensing of the bronchial and all the respiratory muscles resulting in forced expulsion. In so doing, the rima glottidis is closed, and intrathoracic pressure rises sharply. With the opening of the rima glottidis, the air bursts forth from the respiratory tract, carrying with it the sputum that has accumulated in the bronchi and pulmonary alveoli, dust particles, and so forth. Thus, a cough can be beneficial in helping to cleanse the respiratory tract. However, a protracted and severe cough that occurs with infections of the pleura, liver, and some other organs is harmful to the organism, since a systematic elevation of the intrathoracic and intrabronchial pressure leads to the gradual formation of pulmonary emphysema and impedes the flow of blood through the veins to the heart. This can lead to cardiopulmonary insufficiency.

Treatment is directed at the affliction that has caused thecough. With a wet cough, particularly if it is difficult to bring upthe sputum, expectorants are used; with a dry, persistent cough, cough suppressants are administered.


A sudden, violent expulsion of air after deep inspiration and closure of the glottis.
References in periodicals archive ?
Her cough changed to a pertussis-like, paroxysmal cough approximately the same time as her mother's cough onset.
Paroxysmal period (week 1-6): paroxysmal cough, inspiratory "whoop," post-tussive vomiting; pneumonia common among infants; infrequent manifestations include seizures.
In the infant's family, a third sibling, age 11 years, also had a paroxysmal cough of 4 to 5 weeks' duration.
pertussis in the two day-care centers had the typical course of pertussis infection, with 3 weeks of paroxysmal cough (Table) (1).
On January 17, the infant returned with persistent symptoms that had progressed during the preceding 2-3 days to include paroxysmal cough, breathing difficulty, and fever.
a paroxysmal cough illness lasting [greater than or equal to]21 days and confirmed by culture, serology; or epidemiologic link to a culture-positive household contact).
Many of the adults had the classic pertussis symptoms of childhood: 90% had paroxysmal cough, 26% had whooping, and 26% had posttussive vomiting.
paroxysmal cough, post-tussive vomiting, or inspiratory whoop) or [greater than or equal to] 14 days of cough in a person in an outbreak setting.
Physicians generally don't think of pertussis when an older child or adolescent has a severe, paroxysmal cough that is often followed by vomiting, and the coughing lasts more than 2 weeks, she said in an interview But because immunity acquired by vaccination wanes with age, pertussis is a distinct possibility.
prolonged or paroxysmal cough, bronchitis, influenza-like illness, pneumonia, and rapidly progressive pneumonia).
a paroxysmal cough illness lasting [equal to or greater than]21 days and confirmed by culture, serology, or epidemiologic link to a culture-positive household contact).
Because of persistent paroxysmal cough and episodes of cyanosis, apnea, and bradycardia, on June 8 he was transferred to a pediatric intensive-care facility.

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