Vocal Cord Dysfunction: An Often-misdiagnosed Condition

Sarah M. Jabusch, MS Clinical Research; Timothy M. Hinson, PharmD, AE-C


US Pharmacist. 2017;42(9):34-39. 

In This Article


VCD is a multifaceted disease characterized by abnormal adduction of the vocal cords during inspiration that results in varying degrees of obstruction.[1–3,9] Frequently, VCD is diagnosed only after a patient has failed traditional pharmacotherapy for asthma or EIB; therefore, better awareness and understanding of the disease are needed. Knowledge that VCD is more prevalent in females—particularly female athletes—places the pharmacist in an ideal position to recognize these patients when they present for medications. A multidisciplinary approach is necessary to properly diagnose patients and avoid unnecessary pharmacotherapy.[6] As a key member of the healthcare team, the pharmacist can refer patients who have not achieved symptom control with usual treatments for asthma or EIB to the appropriate specialist to be tested for VCD.