Our Services

Vocal Cord Dysfunction Clinic

Description of Services

The Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC is a unique multidisciplinary clinic aimed at providing patients with comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of this laryngeal dystonia. In VCD, instead of opening, the vocal cords close and constrict the airway in the throat when a person with VCD inhales. The condition occurs mainly in adolescents, often girls, who are high achievers in sports and academics. 

Patients undergo a combined evaluation with a pediatric otolaryngologist and pediatric pulmonologist, which helps them and their families better understand the diagnosis of vocal cord dysfunction. Because of this combined evaluation, children are seen at Children’s Hospital’s main campus in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh.

Specialists are able to confirm the diagnosis of VCD through use of exercise pulmonary function testing and laryngoscopy.

Children’s Hospital’s Communication Disorders Department provides advanced therapies for patients with VCD that include:

  • biofeedback
  • inspiratory muscle training
  • relaxed breathing exercises

Referral Requirements

As a comprehensive resource center, the Pediatric Aerodigestive Center is available not only to patients, but also to referring physicians and surgeons who may request diagnoses, second opinions, treatment plans and definitive treatment.

Referrals are required from primary care physicians or other Children’s Hospital specialty services. Referrals for patients enrolled in managed care insurance plans also may require authorization from the insurance provider and primary care physician. All necessary referral and authorization forms must be received before the patient’s visit. For accurate provider numbers or more information, please call the office number listed.

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Last Update
September 14, 2011