Breathing abnormalities in children with breathlessness

Paediatr Respir Rev. 2011 Mar;12(1):83-7. doi: 10.1016/j.prrv.2010.09.003. Epub 2010 Dec 10.


Dysfunctional breathing, hyperventilation and vocal cord dysfunction are frequently seen in children and adults. The prevalence is unknown. There are no standardized diagnostic criteria, and for now, effective exclusion of organic disease leaves the diagnosis of dysfunctional breathing. Therapy is mainly focussed on explanation of a benign condition and reassurance. Since dysfunctional breathing is a possible chronic condition, other therapies should be evaluated. In adults physiotherapy and breathing retraining appear beneficial. In childhood there is lack of evidence, and further research is necessary in order to optimise the outcome for children with dysfunctional breathing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dyspnea / diagnosis
  • Dyspnea / etiology*
  • Dyspnea / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Respiration Disorders / complications
  • Respiration Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Respiration Disorders / therapy*