[Vocal cord dysfunction simulating severe corticoid-dependent asthma]

P Debove, P Birot, S Doussau-Thuron, R Pelet, M Calas, A Didier, P Léophonte
Revue des Maladies Respiratoires 2000, 17 (2): 507-9
We report a case of severe asthma initially considered as cortico-resistant. Clinical analysis of dyspneic attacks demonstrated they were atypical, sometimes associated with dysphonia and syncopes. Severity of clinical presentation was discordant with lung function tests. The diagnosis of vocal cord dysfunction was confirmed by ENT specialized examination. It showed paradoxal inspiratory adduction of the vocal cords triggered by exercise. Treatment remained however difficult, based on speech therapy, relaxation and psychotherapy. This observation underlines the influence of searching a vocal cord dysfunction in cortico-dependent asthma, especially if clinical presentation is atypical. Treatment of this condition may allow to decrease steroid treatment in such patients.

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