Dr. Andrej Petrov’s Research

Dr. Petrov’s research interests focus on conditions that mimic asthma, hypogammaglobulinemia in lung transplant patients, and allergic drug reactions.

Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) is often misdiagnosed and mistreated as asthma, leading to increased asthma medication use and healthcare utilization. While laryngoscopy remains the gold standard for VCD diagnosis, it is often not readily available or practiced by many physicians who may encounter this disorder. Additionally, laryngoscopy may be normal if performed when a patient is asymptomatic.

Dr. Petrov and co-inventers developed the Pittsburgh VCD Index, a simple, valid and easy to use tool for diagnosing VCD. This novel scoring system identified features of VCD that distinguish it from asthma. Symptoms of throat tightness and dysphonia, absence of wheezing, and the presence of odors as a symptom trigger were found to be key features of vocal cord dysfunction that distinguish it from asthma.  Using the appropriate cut-off, the index had a sensitivity and specificity of 83% and 95% respectively, and its utility was confirmed in a population of patientswith laryngoscopy-proven VCD. Pittsburgh VCD Index may decrease health care costs, unnecessary medication use and healthcare utilization by making a timely diagnosis of VCD in a patient mistreated for asthma.

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