Treatment of chronic neurogenic cough with in-office superior laryngeal nerve block

C. Blake Simpson, Kathleen M. Tibbetts, Michael J. Loochtan, Laura M. Dominguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objectives: Neurogenic cough is believed to result from a sensory neuropathy involving the internal branch of the superior laryngeal nerve (SLN). We present our outcomes for the treatment of neurogenic cough with localized blockade of the internal branch of the SLN. Methods: A retrospective chart review of patients who underwent in-office percutaneous SLN block for treatment of neurogenic cough between 2015 and 2017 was conducted. Patient demographics, indications for injection, and response to treatment were recorded and analyzed. Cough severity index (CSI) scores before and after treatment were compared. Results: Twenty-three patients underwent percutaneous blockade of the internal branch of the SLN in the clinic setting, and five patients were excluded for incomplete records. The indication was neurogenic cough as a diagnosis of exclusion. The injectable substance used was a 1:1 mixture of a long-acting particulate corticosteroid and a local anesthetic. Unilateral injections were performed in 13 patients, and five patients underwent bilateral injections. Of the unilateral injections, 10 were left-sided. Patients underwent an average of 2.4 SLN block procedures (range 1-7). Mean follow-up time postinjection was 85.4 days (7-450 days). Cough severity index scores decreased significantly from an average of 26.8 pretreatment to 14.6 posttreatment (P<0.0001). Conclusion: The SLN block is an effective treatment for neurogenic cough, with average CSI scores significantly improved following injection. Further study is necessary to determine the characteristics of patients' responses to treatment, long-term outcomes, and efficacy of the procedure when compared to placebo and other accepted treatments for neurogenic cough.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Chronic cough
  • Neurogenic cough
  • Outcomes
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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