Evaluation and management of vocal cord dysfunction in the athlete

Curr Sports Med Rep. Mar-Apr 2009;8(2):65-70. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e31819def3d.


Vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) is defined by paradoxical vocal fold closure during inhalation, and rarely upon exhalation. The precise etiology of VCD is unknown; however, a variety of potential causes may include laryngeal hyperresponsiveness, laryngeal irritants, psychogenic causes, and rarely neurologic diseases. VCD can occur in athletes, particularly females, and the sports medicine professional likely is to care for patients with acute respiratory difficulties caused by this condition. Given its complex nature, a multidisciplinary approach to VCD evaluation and management is necessary and results in optimal outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Larynx / anatomy & histology
  • Larynx / physiology
  • Male
  • Sports / physiology
  • Sports Medicine
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / diagnosis*
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / drug therapy*
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / etiology
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / physiopathology
  • Vocal Cords / physiopathology
  • Young Adult