The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) defines upper airway cough syndrome (UACS) as a syndrome characterised by chronic cough (i.e., present for ≥8 weeks) related to upper airway abnormalities. The presence of abnormal sensations arising from the throat (e.g., patients may describe something stuck in the throat) is central to the diagnosis. As there are no pathognomonic findings or definitive tests to establish a diagnosis, the ACCP recommend that diagnosis should be determined by considering a combination of criteria, including the history, physical exam, imaging (to exclude other causes), and, ultimately, the response to specific therapy. An empirical trial of therapy is considered to be both diagnostic and therapeutic. Improvement or resolution of cough in response to treatment is pivotal to confirming the diagnosis.
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