A case of bronchial asthma in a younger patient with vocal cord dysfunction

Hirohito Sano, Teruyuki Satou, Koji Murakami, Yutaka Tojo, Risa Shibuya, Ayumi Mitsune, Shun Yamanaka, Tsutomu Tamada, Hisatoshi Sugiura, Masakazu Ichinose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a case of a 17-year-old woman with a history of bronchial asthma since two years of age. She had daily asthma attacks from the age of fourteen, and the addition of oral corticosteroids and omalizumab to regular inhaled corticosteroid inhalation failed to relieve symptoms. She was referred to our hospital for detailed examination. On admission, physical examination was normal, but she had complained of dyspnea at the round. Monophonic wheezes and stridor were heard over the anterior neck, while no rales were audible over any part of the chest. Laryngoscopy revealed paradoxical movement of the vocal cords, and a diagnosis of vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) was made. The apparent severe asthma symptoms were considered to reflect VCD, and the treatment for bronchial asthma was stepped down without any recurrence of asthma attacks. Although the etiology of the VCD was unknown, VCD is more common in young women, so stress and personality factors are thought to be involved. It has been noted that childhood asthma often improves between childhood and adolescence, but refractory cases have been noted. In intractable bronchial asthma cases, it is necessary to consider the complications of other diseases, such as VCD, and to perform appropriate management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-357
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Journal of Allergology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Severe asthma
  • Vocal cord dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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