Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation as a Treatment for Neuropathic Cough: A Tolerability and Feasibility Study

Alexandra Michalowski, Adam Haines, Naum Shaparin, Karina Gritsenko, Alan D. Kaye, Elyse M. Cornett, Michael Z. Lerner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a form of electroanalgesia used for neuropathic pain disorders. Refractory chronic cough, or “neuropathic cough,” may be physiologically similar to other neuropathic pain conditions. This study explored the tolerability and feasibility of using TENS as a treatment for neuropathic cough. Laryngeal TENS was administered to five subjects with neuropathic cough. One electrode was placed over the lateral thyrohyoid membrane, and a second over the cricothyroid space. A frequency of 120 Hz was applied for 30 min. Participants rated symptoms pre-, during, and post-TENS treatment using a Likert scale. Laryngeal TENS was well tolerated by all subjects. Adverse effects included brief neck discomfort when increasing TENS intensity and an event of mild post-treatment hoarseness. The self-reported scores trended toward a reduction in symptom severity during and after treatment. Controlled trials using this method would elucidate the use of TENS for treatment of patients suffering from chronic cough.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNeurology and Therapy
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Chronic cough
  • Laryngeal irritability
  • Neuropathic cough
  • TENS
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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