Four patients had acute dyspnea and chest pain due to primary neurologic disease, not to cardiac or pulmonary disorders. They suffered from severe, involuntary respiratory dyskinesias, which resulted in an irregular respiratory rate, shortness of breath, and chest discomfort. These respiratory dyskinesias occurred as one aspect of more generalized choreiform movement disorders. Three patients had neuroleptic-induced tardive dyskinesias, and one had levodopa-induced dyskinesias. As a result of their ages and the nature of their complaints, some of these patients were originally thought to have cardiac and pulmonary disorders. Respiratory dyskinesias should be considered as a possible cause of respiratory distress in patients with extrapyramidal dysfunction.