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Airway fluoroscopic diagnosis of vocal cord dysfunction syndrome.

BACKGROUND: Vocal cord dysfunction syndrome is often misdiagnosed as refractory asthma. Airway fluoroscopy has recently been proposed as an alternative to laryngoscopy in the initial evaluation of certain cases of suspected vocal cord dysfunction.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the use of airway radiographs and fluoroscopy in a patient with suspected vocal cord dysfunction.

METHODS: We used soft tissue technique airway radiographs and fluoroscopy to evaluate the glottic function during inspiration and expiration in a 9-year-old boy with refractory asthma and suspected vocal cord dysfunction.

RESULTS: The study confirmed paradoxical vocal cord motion.

CONCLUSIONS: Airway radiographs and fluoroscopy provide a rapid and noninvasive means of diagnosing vocal cord dysfunction. Patients should still have laryngoscopy performed at the earliest possible moment to rule out the possibility of other laryngeal abnormalities.

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