The acoustic cough monitoring and manometric profile of cough and throat clearing

Y. Xiao*, D. Carson, L. Boris, J. Mabary, Z. Lin, F. Nicodème, M. Cuttica, P. J. Kahrilas, J. E. Pandolfino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Cough and throat clearing might be difficult to differentiate when trying to detect them acoustically or manometrically. The aim of this study was to assess the accuracy of acoustic monitoring for detecting cough and throat clearing, and to also determine whether these two symptoms present with different manometric profiles on esophageal pressure topography. Ten asymptomatic volunteers (seven females, mean age 31.1) were trained to simulate cough and throat clearing in a randomized order every 6 minutes during simultaneous acoustic monitoring and high-resolution manometry. The accuracy of automated acoustic analysis and two blinded reviewers were compared. The pattern of the events and the duration of the pressure changes were assessed using the 30mmHg isobaric contour. There were 50 cough and 50 throat-clearing events according to the protocol. The sensitivity and specificity of automated acoustic analysis was 84% and 50% for cough, while the blinded analysis using sound revealed a sensitivity and specificity of 94% and 92%. The manometric profile of both cough and throat clearing was similar in terms of qualitative findings; however, cough was associated with a greater number of repetitive pressurizations and a more vigorous upper esophageal sphincter contraction compared with throat clearing. The acoustic analysis software has a moderate sensitivity and poor specificity to detect cough. The profile of cough and throat clearing in pressure topography revealed a similar qualitative pattern of pressurization with more vigorous pressure changes and a greater rate of repetitive pressurizations in cough.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-12
Number of pages8
JournalDiseases of the Esophagus
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Acoustic monitoring
  • Cough
  • High-resolution manometry
  • Throat clearing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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