Vocal cord dysfunction is often misdiagnosed and mistreated as asthma, which can lead to increased and unnecessary medication use and increased health care utilization. The authors sought to develop a valid scoring index that could help distinguish vocal cord dysfunction from asthma, by comparing demographics, comorbidities, clinical symptoms and symptom triggers of subjects with vocal cord dysfunction and those with asthma. They identified symptoms of throat tightness and dysphonia, the absence of wheezing, and the presence of odors as a symptom trigger as key features of vocal cord dysfunction that distinguish it from asthma, and developed a weighted index based on these characteristics, the Pittsburgh Vocal Cord Dysfunction Index, which is proposed as a simple, valid and easy-to-use tool for diagnosing vocal cord dysfunction.

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