Acute Dyspnea Caused by Hypocalcemia-Related Laryngospasm

D.A.W.A. Joosen*, R.J.J.M. van de Laar, R.P. Koopmans, P.M. Stassen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Laryngospasm is a rare cause of stridor in adults, and laryngospasm due to hypocalcemia is an unusual finding. Case Report: We present a case of an adult woman with acute dyspnea. A week prior to presentation, she experienced short episodes of a pinching feeling in her throat and difficulty breathing. On primary assessment, stridor and a positive Trousseau sign were noted. Laboratory examination showed hypocalcemia. We concluded that the dyspnea was caused by laryngospasm due to hypocalcemia. Hypocalcemia was treated promptly, and stridor and dyspnea resolved rapidly. Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?: Laryngospasm is a rare, but serious and potentially lethal, complication of hypocalcemia in adults. In every adult presenting with acute dyspnea and stridor, the possibility of hypocalcemia should be considered. Hypocalcemia should be treated promptly. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-30
Number of pages2
JournalThe Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • laryngospasm
  • hypocalcemia
  • stridor
  • dyspnea
  • hypomagnesemia

Cite this