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Paradoxic Vocal Fold Motion (PVFM)

Paradoxic Vocal Fold Motion, also termed Vocal Cord Dysfunction, is abnormal movement, usually moving together, of the vocal cords during inspiration (breathing in).

Diagnosis and Testing

A review of the patient's history, along with a physician exam that reveals a feeling of the throat closing, chest tightness, or shortness of breath during exertion or any anxiety-provoking situation, can lead to a diagnosis of PVFM. Usually a endoscopy is ordered as well, to allow direct visualization of the abnormal movement. This can be difficult to capture, as it occurs only with intense exertion, so the patient will be asked to exercise to the point of intensity necessary to elicit the sensation before the endoscopy. The physician will also want to rule out physiological causes such as GERD, asthma, allergy, structural abnormalities, or cardiac issues.

Treatment

Treatment for PVFM typically includes voice therapy with a speech and language pathologist, as well as biofeedback and behavior modification with a psychiatrist trained in these specific modalities.

For more information about paradoxic vocal fold motion, please speak with your child's physician.