Brightling CE., Birring SS., Berry MA., Pavord ID.
© 2005 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Gibson et al. (1) first identified eosinophilic bronchitis without asthma as a cause of chronic cough in 1989. They described a condition that manifests as a corticosteroid responsive chronic cough in nonsmokers without the abnormalities of airway function that characterize asthma. These patients had evidence of airway inflammation in the form of a sputum eosinophilia, hence the term eosinophilic bronchitis. The development of safe and non invasive methods of assessing airway inflammation using induced sputum has allowed the further characterization of this condition. Studies where assessment of airway inflammation has been undertaken in chronic cough patients have shown that eosinophilic bronchitis without asthma may account for up to 10-15% of cases referred for specialist investigation (2,3), although the incidence is likely to depend on the extent to which therapeutic trials of corticosteroids are undertaken in primary care. This chapter addresses the clinical features and management of eosinophilic bronchitis without asthma as a cause of chronic cough. It also highlights recent advances in our understanding of the pathogenesis of this disorder, which have particularly informed our understanding of the relationship between eosinophilic airway inflammation and disordered airway function in asthma.