Upper airway obstruction masquerading as exercise induced bronchospasm in an elite road cyclist

Br J Sports Med. 2004 Aug;38(4):E9. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2003.006486.


This case concerns an elite road cyclist who complained of occasional dyspnoea and inspiratory difficulty during intense exercise. Clinical examination was normal and the final diagnosis was vocal cord dysfunction, a paradoxical closure of the vocal cords during inspiration which is highly associated with inspiratory stridor at high rates of ventilation. Awareness by the sports physician of this not uncommon condition is important to avoid misdiagnosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Airway Obstruction / diagnosis*
  • Airway Obstruction / etiology
  • Airway Obstruction / physiopathology
  • Bicycling*
  • Bronchial Spasm / diagnosis*
  • Bronchial Spasm / etiology
  • Bronchial Spasm / physiopathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dyspnea / etiology*
  • Dyspnea / physiopathology
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Laryngeal Diseases / etiology
  • Laryngeal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Vital Capacity
  • Vocal Cords