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ACC : Acute and Critical Care



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HOME > Acute Crit Care > Volume 27(3); 2012 > Article
Case Report A Fatal Case of Vocal Cord Dysfunction: A Case Report
Eun Ha Cho, Gi Won Cho, Soo Hoon Kwon, Sang Hyuk Im, Hye Ok Kim, Sook Hee Song, Woo Chan Choung, Suhyun Kim

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1Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Seoul Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.

Vocal cord dysfunction is characterized by the paradoxical adduction of the vocal cord during inspiration, causing relapsing wheezing or stridor, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. If the patient exhibiting symptoms of asthma is not responsive to treatment, there is a need to test whether vocal cord dysfunction is complicated by asthma. Herein, we report a case of vocal cord dysfunction with acute respiratory failure in old age with underlying disease. The patient presented with resting dyspnea, an audible wheeze, and was first diagnosed with acute exacerbation of bronchial asthma. However, her symptoms were not controlled with medical treatment and laryngoscopy showed paradoxical adduction of the vocal cords. Sudden cardiopulmonary arrest occurred after meal on the day of laryngoscopic examination. Although successful cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the patient developed ventilator-associated pneumonia, and multiple organ failure, eventually leading to death. Because the case was fatal, a report is being issued.

ACC : Acute and Critical Care