Table 1 Classification of pulmonary causes of cough
Acute (≤8 weeks)Chronic (>8 weeks)
Diseases of the lower airwaysDiseases of the lower airways and lung parenchyma
 Aspiration (commonly children aged 1–3 yrs) Chronic (nonobstructive) bronchitis and COPD
 Inhalation intoxication (accidents and fire) Asthma and other eosinophilic diseases
 Post-infectious cough Lung tumours
 Infectious diseases
Diseases of the lungs and pleura DPLD (systemic diseases with diffuse lung involvement)
 Pleurisy Aspiration and RADS
 Pulmonary embolism Bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis
 Pneumothorax Bronchomalacia
 Rare, localised disease of the tracheobronchial tree
  • COPD: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; DPLD: diffuse parencymatous lung diseases; RADS: reactive airways dysfunction syndrome.