Buteyko Breathing Technique for Exertion-Induced Paradoxical Vocal Fold Motion (EI-PVFM)

Dana Halevi Katz, Oshrat Sella, Hadas Golan, Karen Banai, Jessie Van Swearingen, Gintas P. Krisciunas, Katherine Verdolini Abbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The primary purpose of the current study was to determine the usefulness of Buteyko breathing technique (BBT) in reducing dyspnea in patients with one form of Paradoxical Vocal Fold Motion (PVFM), exertion-induced PVFM (EI-PVFM), concomitant with hyperventilation. The secondary purpose was to determine whether BBT had an effect on physiological markers of hyperventilation, as speculated by BBT theory: respiratory tidal minute volume (RTMV), end-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2), and resting heart rate (HR). Methods: Using a within-subjects, repeated measures group design, 12 participants with EI-PVFM and hyperventilation underwent 12 weeks of BBT, following an initial no-treatment control condition. Outcome measures of PVFM—dyspnea frequency and severity—and of hyperventilation—HR, RTMV, and ETCO2—were acquired pre- and post-treatment. Results: Results showed post-treatment decreases in dyspnea severity, HR, and RTMV, as well as increases in ETCO2. Decreases in dyspnea and RTMV measures remained after correction for alpha inflation. Conclusions: Findings suggest BBT may be useful for some individuals with EI-PVFM and hyperventilation. The high prevalence of hyperventilation in EI-PVFM found in the current study warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-51
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Voice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Wright Mark 14 Respirometer used in this study was donated by nSpire Health, Inc with thanks to Mr. Dan Graff. Our sincere appreciation and gratitude go to Adrianna Shembel, PhD, for her long-standing contribution to this research study and manuscript. We thank to Ms. Sigalit Mangut Leiba for her assistance with statistical analysis, and to Mrs. Tasha Watson-Coughlin for assisting with questions pertaining to REDCAP. Finally, we thank to the research assistants at Boston Medical Center and to the participants of this study, who made it all possible.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Voice Foundation


  • Chronic cough
  • Dyspnea
  • Exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction
  • Exertion
  • Paradoxical Vocal Fold Motion
  • Vocal cord dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • LPN and LVN
  • Speech and Hearing


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