Ondine’s Curse and its Inverse Syndrome

Respiratory Failure in Autonomic vs. Voluntary Control
  • Fumihiko Yasuma
  • Akiyoshi Okada
  • Yoshiyuki Honda
  • Yoshitaka Oku
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 450)


Breathing is controlled separately by the autonomic and voluntary pathways, which are, at least partially, anatomically different1,2. Rarely, a discrete lesion of the central nervous system may produce a selective paralysis of one type of respiration, but spare another. Recently, we encountered a patient with the paralysis of autonomic respiration (Ondine’s curse) of unknown etiology, in whom the voluntary respiration remained intact. Then, we encountered another patient with its inverse clinical feature, in whom a localized, traumatic damage of the cerebral peduncle had induced a complete loss of voluntary respiration, while the autonomic respiration remained intact.


Ventilatory Response Cerebral Peduncle Brainstem Infarction Corticospinal Pathway Bulbar Paralysis 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fumihiko Yasuma
    • 1
  • Akiyoshi Okada
    • 2
  • Yoshiyuki Honda
    • 3
  • Yoshitaka Oku
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of MedicineSuzuka National SanatoriumSuzukaJapan 513
  2. 2.Third Department of Internal MedicineNagoya City University School of MedicineMizuho-ku, NagoyaJapan 457
  3. 3.Department of Physiology School of MedicineChiba UniversityTyuou-ku, ChibaJapan 260
  4. 4.Department of Clinical Physiology, Chest Disease Research InstituteKyoto UniversitySeigoin, Sakyo-ku, KyotoJapan

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