A case of persistent hiccup in a patient with non-small cell lung cancer

Sung Park Hye, Su Sim Yun, Yeon Lim So, Youn Jo Jung, Shin Kwon Sung, Hee Roh Sun, Ri Kim Yoo, Mi Chun Eun, Hwa Lee Jin, Ju Ryu Yon, Eun Song Dong, Wook Moon Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A hiccup is caused by involuntary, intermittent, and spasmodic contractions of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles. It starts with a sudden inspiration and ends with an abrupt closure of the glottis. Even though a hiccup is thought to develop through the hiccup reflex arc, its exact pathophysiology is still unclear. The etiologies include gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory abnormalities, psychogenic factors, toxic-metabolic disorders, central nervous system dysfunctions and irritation of the vagus and phrenic nerves. Most benign hiccups can be controlled by traditional empirical therapy such as breath holding and swallowing water. However, though rare, a persistent hiccup longer than 48 hours can lead to significant adverse effects including malnutrition, dehydration, insomnia, electrolyte imbalance, and cardiac arrhythmia. An intractable hiccup can sometimes even cause death. We herein describe a patient with non-small cell lung cancer who was severely distressed by a persistent hiccup.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-43
Number of pages5
JournalTuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Chlorpromazine
  • Hiccup
  • Lung cancer
  • Singultus


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