Objectives/hypothesis: To assess the diagnostic feasibility and patient acceptance of a new developed diagnostic test for exercise induced upper airway flow limitation.
Study design: Clinical case control study including evaluation of contemporary ergo-spirometry and laryngoscopy continuously performed during exercise.
Methods: Twelve nonsymptomatic controls and four young females with documented dyspnea and noisy breathing during exercise were studied. All subjects exercised to exhaustion on a treadmill while attached to a fully equipped ergo-spirometry unit and a fiberoptic laryngoscope linked to a video camera and a sound recorder.
Results: The test situation was well tolerated. Two control subjects had a minor inspiratory synchronous medial motion of the aryepiglottic folds without limitation of laryngeal airflow. In the four symptomatic subjects, exercise induced inspiratory synchronous medial motion of the dorsal part of the aryepiglottic folds as well as vocal cord adduction and inspiratory stridor was demonstrated.
Conclusion: The continuous laryngoscopy exercise test was easy to perform, well tolerated, and can be implemented in future diagnostic work-up programs of laryngeal dysfunction.