Acute bronchitis, as the term implies, is a lower respiratory tract syndrome and another common source of acute cough. It manifests as a persistent cough, with or without sputum production, in patients with a normal chest radiograph. Although it is much less prevalent than the common cold, acute bronchitis is the most common diagnosis given to patients presenting to a physician with acute cough. It is caused by a respiratory virus more than 90% of the time. Viral cultures and serologic assays are not routinely ordered; hence, the organism responsible is rarely identified.
The complications of coughing can be classified as either acute or chronic . Acute complications include cough syncope ( fainting spells due to decreased blood flow to the brain when coughs are prolonged and forceful), insomnia , cough-induced vomiting , rupture of blebs causing spontaneous pneumothorax (although this still remains to be proven), subconjunctival hemorrhage or " red eye ", coughing defecation and in women with a prolapsed uterus , cough urination . Chronic complications are common and include abdominal or pelvic hernias , fatigue fractures of lower ribs and costochondritis .