Objective: To compare practices of the American Broncho-Esophagological Association (ABEA) membership regarding the evaluation and management of unilateral vocal fold motion impairment (UVFMI) in adult versus pediatric populations. Study design and setting: An 18-item adult survey and 16-item pediatric survey were administered to ABEA members. Results: Seventy-six adult (31%) and 35 pediatric surveys (43%) were completed. Key differences are highlighted. With respect to etiology, the most common reported childhood cause is idiopathic; adults more often suffer iatrogenic paralysis. Children more commonly experience reflux disease, feeding difficulties, and choking. Preferred testing involves flexible laryngoscopy and chest x-ray; however, laboratory tests are carried out less often in children (51% vs 71%) and medical intervention is advocated by fewer pediatric practitioners (39% vs 57%). Conclusion: Significant disparities exist in the etiology, presenting symptoms, diagnostic testing, and medical treatment between children and adults with UVFMI. Significance: Clinicians' perceptions regarding UVFMI may reflect the differing impact of vocal paralysis in the pediatric versus adult populations.
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