Citric acid inhalation cough challenge: Establishing normative data
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Speech and Language Therapy
One of the most elusive challenges in the diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia is the reliable identification of silent aspiration (aspiration in the absence of cough). The citric acid inhalation cough challenge offers potential for aiding in identification of silent aspiration; however clinical application of this technique is currently problematic due to an absence of normative data. Therefore, this study aimed to establish a normative data set for the Citric- Acid Inhalation Cough Challenge, as administered with facemask method. 80 healthy subjects will participate in this study, constituting 2 age groups: above and below 60 years, with equal gender representation. On 3 separate trials, they will be asked to passively inhale, via a facemask, nebulised citric acid of concentrations ranging from 08M to 2.6M with placebo interspersed. ‘Natural cough thresholds’ (NCT) and ‘Suppressed Cough Thresholds’ (SCT) will be reached when subjects cough on at least 2 out of 3 trials. The majority (92.5%) of participants reached Natural Cough Threshold by 0.8M, with 68% demonstrating Suppressed Cough Threshold also at this concentration. There were no significant differences found between males and females (p<0.05) for either NCT (p=0.9885) or SCT (p=0.44). Whilst no difference was found between youngers and elders for NCT (p=0.7254), there was a significant difference for SCT (p=0.018), with youngers better able to suppress cough. Over 90% of healthy people were found to elicit cough at 0.8M, inferring that this level would be an adequate guide for use by clinicians testing for presence/absence of cough.