The Effects of Dopamine on the Ventilatory Response to Sustained Hypoxia in Humans

  • Denham S. Ward
  • Marica Nino


The ventilatory response to acutely imposed sustained isocapnic hypoxia is biphasic(5). In humans, ventilation increases immediately in the first 3–5 minutes of hypoxia (hypoxic ventilatory stimulation, HVS), then gradually declines over the next 15–20 minutes to a value intermediate between the normoxic and the peak hypoxic ventilation(5). The initial hyperventilatory response is due to increased peripheral chemoreceptor output; however the mechanisms of the subsequent hypoxic ventilatory decline (HVD) are not well elucidated. In animals, the peripheral chemoreceptor discharge does not adapt during sustained hypoxia but the phrenic nerve efferent discharge does decrease(18) and hypoxia causes ventilatory depression when the carotid sinus nerve is cut(1). These findings suggest a central origin for the ventilatory decline. Increases in inhibitory central neuromodulators, such as GABA(17) and adenosine(4), and the hypoxia-induced increase in cerebral blood flow washing out acid metabolites(21) have been proposed as possible mechanisms for the ventilatory decline.


Carotid Body Ventilatory Response Dopamine Infusion Hypoxic Ventilatory Response Carotid Sinus Nerve 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denham S. Ward
    • 1
  • Marica Nino
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyUCLA School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA

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