Paradoxical vocal cord motion in pediatric patients

John Palla, Aaron D. Friedman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Paradoxical vocal cord motion (PVCM), also termed vocal cord dysfunction, is a poorly understood disorder of episodic dyspnea characterized by inappropriate vocal cord adduction during inspiration and potentially during expiration. It can coexist or be confused with asthma, so appropriate diagnosis is key to optimizing treatment success. Although many patients with PVCM may have underlying psychologic issues, there is emerging evidence to suggest that this entity is not psychogenic in every patient. Both laryngeal irritants and exercise have been identified as additional contributing factors in PVCM. Diagnosis of PVCM requires awake laryngoscopic confirmation. However, many patients do not exhibit signs of PVCM during this examination, despite provocation during testing. Therefore, clinical history remains key in determining which patients should proceed with behavioral therapy under the guidance of a speech pathologist. In addition, treatment may include limiting patient exposure to potential sources of laryngeal irritation. Refractory patients may benefit from psychologic assessment and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e184-e188
JournalPediatric annals
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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