Ventilatory Instability Induced by Selective Carotid Body Inhibition in the Sleeping Dog

  • B. J. Chenuel
  • C. A. Smith
  • K. S. Henderson
  • J. A. Dempsey
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 551)


There is a considerable evidence that hypocapnia is a major contributor to the genesis of central apnea and periodic breathing (PB) in humans during sleep. Studies using mechanical ventilation to lower the arterial carbon dioxide pressure (PaCO2) have shown that during non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM), when respiration is under predominantly metabolic control, there is a highly sensitive apneic threshold (AT) induced by reduction in PaCO2 that were only 2 to 4 mm Hg less than eupneic PaCO2.1, 2, 3, 4 If there is a small difference between the AT for CO2 (PATCO2) and the eupneic PaCO2 (a narrow “CO2 reserve”), then a relatively small increase in ventilation (ventilatory overshoot), from whatever cause, could result in apnea. Conversely, if there is a large difference between eupneic PaCO2 and PATCO2 (a wide “CO2 reserve”) then a larger increment of ventilation is required to produce apnea.


Carotid Body Pressure Support Ventilation NREM Sleep Metabolic Alkalosis Periodic Breathing 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. J. Chenuel
    • 1
  • C. A. Smith
    • 2
  • K. S. Henderson
    • 2
  • J. A. Dempsey
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physiologie, EA 3450, Faculté de Médecine de NancyUniversité Henri PoincaréFrance
  2. 2.John Rankin Laboratory of Pulmonary MedicineUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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