Severe Obstructive Airway Disorders and Diseases: Vocal Fold Dysfunction

Katherine A. Kendall, Samuel Louie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Vocal Fold Dysfunction is a syndrome characterized by abnormal adduction of the focal folds during inspiration and is the cause of a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations ranging from mild inspiratory stridor to an inability to move any air. Patients present with varying degrees of intermittent respiratory difficulty, the most severe caused by intense laryngospasm. Distinguishing Vocal Fold Dysfunction from Refractory Asthma is important to avoid unnecessary pharmacotherapy and intubation. The diagnosis of Vocal Fold Dysfunction can only be made with certainty by flexible fiberoptic laryngoscopy while the patient is symptomatic. Pulmonary function studies and a lack of response to bronchodilators may provide clues to the diagnosis. Most patients with the condition can be managed by speech therapy and the use of breathing strategies that eliminate the abnormal vocal fold movement. Chronic laryngeal irritation may be a trigger for Vocal Fold Dysfunction and conditions such as laryngopharyngeal reflux disease should be aggressively managed in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-231
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Vocal fold dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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