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Curr Opin Pulm Med. 1996 Nov;2(6):500-6.

Sleep-wake cycles and the management of respiratory failure.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Sleep is characterized by many changes in the respiratory system, including a reduction in respiratory motor output associated with the loss of wakefulness, increased upper airway resistance, and blunted protective reflexes (such as load compensation), that result in reduced alveolar ventilation. The development of carbon dioxide retention appears to be linked to the exaggeration of sleep-related changes on ventilation by coexistent respiratory system disorders. Sleep-disordered breathing is becoming increasingly recognized in subjects with neuromuscular diseases, who may be prone to nocturnal respiratory events due to diaphragm and bulbar muscle weakness, abnormal central respiratory control, obesity, and sleep position restrictions. Nocturnal gas exchange deterioration may occur in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, particularly during rapid eye movement sleep when activity of the respiratory muscles other than the diaphragm is inhibited. Concurrent obstructive sleep apnea syndrome may further compromise nocturnal ventilation, thereby contributing to the development of acute or chronic respiratory failure. The use of noninvasive nocturnal ventilation at night has resulted in significant improvements in symptoms of hypoventilation and daytime carbon dioxide retention in various clinical settings, yet important questions remain about implementation of this modality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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