Paradoxical Vocal Fold Movement (PVFM)

During the respiratory cycle of higher animals and
human beings, the vocal folds partially abduct with
inhalation and partially adduct with exhalation
(Ward, Hanson, & Berci, 1981). This phasic vocal fold
movement is physiological and allows the unimpeded movement
of air into the lungs during inspiration while helping to
maintain the alveolar patency of the lungs by providing
positive airway pressure during expiration
PVFM is characterized by inappropriate
adduction of the vocal folds during
inspiration. PVFM is an uncommon and sometimes
confusing cause of airway obstruction.
The resultant obstruction may be intermittent
or continuous, mild or severe. Most patients
with PVFM have a specific etiology—
inflammatory, neurological, neoplastic,
iatrogenic, or psychological—that influences
type of treatment and outcome.