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Paradoxical vocal cord motion disorder: past, present and future
  1. Wanis H Ibrahim1,
  2. Heitham A Gheriani2,
  3. Ahmed A Almohamed3,
  4. Tasleem Raza4
  1. 1Pulmonary & Sleep medicine, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  2. 2Otolaryngology and HNS department, St Vincent University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3Pulmonary & Sleep medicine, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  4. 4Pulmonary medicine, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr W H Ibrahim
 Pulmonary Section, Department of Medicine, Hamad General Hospital, PO Box 3050, Doha, Qatar;wanisian{at}


Paradoxical vocal cord motion disorder (PVCM), also called vocal cord dysfunction, is an important differential diagnosis for asthma. The disorder is often misdiagnosed as asthma leading to unnecessary drug use, very high medical utilisation and occasionally tracheal intubation or tracheostomy. Laryngoscopy is the gold standard for diagnosis of PVCM. Speech therapy and psychotherapy are considered the cornerstone of management of this disorder. The aim of this article is to increase the awareness of PVCM among doctors, highlighting the main characteristics that distinguish it from asthma and discuss the recent medical achievements and the possible future perspectives related to this disorder.

  • CPAP, continuous positive airway pressure
  • GORD, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
  • LCA, lateral cricoarytenoid
  • PCA, posterior cricoarytenoid
  • PVCM, paradoxical vocal cord motion disorder

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  • Competing interests: None.