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Paradoxical vocal cord dysfunction in juveniles.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate demographic and videolaryngoscopic features in a large series of juveniles with paradoxical vocal cord dysfunction (PVCD).

DESIGN: Case series data from videolaryngoscopic tapes retrospectively evaluated in a masked, controlled fashion, and demographic data collected via retrospective medical chart review.

SETTING: A tertiary care otolaryngology and speech pathology referral center.

PATIENTS: Twenty-two patients with PVCD aged 18 years and younger diagnosed as having PVCD at The Ohio State University Voice Institute, Columbus.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Age, sex, social history, and medical history (demographic); epiglottic position, arytenoid and interarytenoid appearance, phase 0 stability, true vocal cord respiratory motion, degree of anteroposterior (AP) constriction, and false vocal cord adduction (videolaryngoscopic).

RESULTS: Of 22 patients, 18 were girls, and 12 had significant social stressors, particularly organized sports. Nineteen patients had posterior laryngeal changes commonly found in gastroesophageal reflux disease. Twelve patients demonstrated abnormal true vocal cord adduction during quiet respiration. Seven patients demonstrated supraglottic anteroposterior constriction and false vocal cord approximation during phonation.

CONCLUSIONS: Juvenile PVCD is more common in girls and is associatedwith social stresses. Anatomic laryngeal changes typically associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease are extremely common in these patients. Juveniles with PVCD frequently demonstrate abnormal true vocal cord adduction during quiet respiration. We recommend that initial evaluation of juvenile patients for possible PVCD be conducted via transnasal fiberoptic laryngoscopy while the patient is asymptomatic, and that strong consideration be given to empiric pharmacological treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease in juveniles diagnosed as having PVCD.

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