Vocal-cord dysfunction presenting as asthma

K L Christopher, R P Wood, R C Eckert, F B Blager, R A Raney, J F Souhrada
New England Journal of Medicine 1983 June 30, 308 (26): 1566-70
We identified five patients with a functional disorder of the vocal cords that mimicked attacks of bronchial asthma. Paroxysms of wheezing and dyspnea were refractory to standard therapy for asthma. During episodes of wheezing, the maximal expiratory and inspiratory flow-volume relationship was consistent with a variable extrathoracic obstruction. Laryngoscopy confirmed that wheezing was due to adduction of the true and false vocal cords throughout the respiratory cycle. During asymptomatic periods the maximal flow-volume relationship and laryngoscopic examination were normal. Provocation tests for bronchial asthma were negative. A variety of personality styles and psychiatric diagnoses were represented; patients were not aware of the vocal-cord dysfunction, which uniformly and dramatically responded to speech therapy and psychotherapy. This syndrome may be a form of conversion reaction.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"