Paradoxical Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Paradoxical Vocal Cord Dysfunction (PVCD) is a rare, but potentially acute, breathing disorder that precipitates an audible vocal stridor on inhalation. Individuals who are competitive athletes, suffer chronic respiratory disorders or have a persistent severe cough may develop PVCD.

Service Overview

PVCD is diagnosed by physicians specializing in laryngology, asthma/allergy or pulmonology, and are then referred to Speech-Language Pathologists. Treatment typically requires short-term behavioral management to inhibit the laryngeal stridor through breathing and voice relaxation techniques. Counseling and education on laryngeal functioning is provided. PVCD assessment and treatment are provided through inpatient or outpatient services. The majority of cases can be treated successfully in a short period of time (2- 4 weeks). Physician diagnosis and referral is required in all cases.

What is PVCD?

PVCD is a rare, but acute, breathing disorder associated with an audible stridor on inhalation. Stridor is a "vocal-growl" on inhalation because the vocal cords come too close together.

Who are PVCD Patients?

Patients with PVCD are often individuals who have other respiratory ailments such as asthma, or reactive airway allergies or a chronic cough. Some adolescent athletes can exhibit exercise-induced PVCD.


Coverage from most major insurance companies is accepted, but coverage for treatment depends on individual insurance benefits.


  • PVCD is diagnosed cooperatively by asthma specialists, ENT physicians or Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Accurate diagnosis can prevent hospitalization
  • Treatment is often short term, 2-4 weeks