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Pediatr Res. 1982 Aug;16(8):621-7.

Reflex apnea from laryngeal chemo-stimulation in the sleeping premature newborn lamb.


The laryngeal chemoreflex was studied during quiet and REM sleep and wakefulness in premature newborn lambs. The response to reflex stimulation with a 5 sec-water infusion was evaluated during 30 sec, as % change in ventilation, heart rate and blood pressure. Apnea, hypertension and bradycardia were more pronounced during sleep than during wakefulness, when arousal was not associated with the stimulation. The response was similar during quiet and REM sleep. Arousal, which occurred in 24 and 31% of the tests respectively, resulted in a response comparable to that seen during wakefulness. The respiratory drive was evaluated by measurement of the mean inspiratory flow and was found to be decreased during both sleep states when compared to wakefulness. We propose that during sleep in the newborn period there is a decreased ability to respond to asphyxia possibly due to a functional immaturity of the arterial chemoreceptors. This results in a low incidence of arousal and a delayed termination of the pronounced poststimulus apnea resulting from laryngeal chemoreflex stimulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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