PACs and coughing

WAKEFIELD, RHODE ISLAND. Dr. Neil Brandon, a cardiologist in Rhode Island, reports on the case of 3 patients who were observed to have a single premature atrial contraction (PAC) immediately preceding a cough. In discussing his findings with colleagues, he found that several physicians had noted a similar association including two cardiologists who had experienced it themselves. Dr. Brandon speculates that a PAC arising in the atrium near the phrenic nerve may trigger the cough reflex in susceptible patients and points out that patients sometime cough during an atrial fibrillation procedure. He also suggests that otherwise unexplained coughing may be due to asymptomatic PACs.

Brandon, N. Premature atrial contraction as an etiology for cough. Chest, Vol. 133, 2008, p. 828