Anatomy and neuro-pathophysiology of the cough reflex arc

Mario Polverino, Francesca Polverino, Marco Fasolino, Filippo Andò, Antonio Alfieri, Francesco De Blasio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Coughing is an important defensive reflex that occurs through the stimulation of a complex reflex arc. It accounts for a significant number of consultations both at the level of general practitioner and of respiratory specialists. In this review we first analyze the cough reflex under normal conditions; then we analyze the anatomy and the neuro-pathophysiology of the cough reflex arc. The aim of this review is to provide the anatomic and pathophysiologic elements of evaluation of the complex and multiple etiologies of cough.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
JournalMultidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 18 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • C-Fibers
  • Cough
  • Rapidly adapting receptors
  • Reflex arc
  • Slowly adapting stretch receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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