Respiratory system stability and abnormal carbon dioxide homeostasis

C Maayan, D W Carley, F B Axelrod, J Grimes, D C Shannon
Journal of Applied Physiology 1992, 72 (3): 1186-93
We have tested the hypothesis that interactions among eight parameters of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems that determine the loop gain (LG) of the respiratory CO2 feedback control system might account for the degree of stability or instability of breathing patterns in healthy sleeping volunteers as well as in familial dysautonomia (FD) and congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS) patients. The predictability of cycle duration was tested as well. We measured the values of CO2 sensitivity, CO2 delivery capacity in the circulation, circulation delay, mean lung volume for CO2, and mixed venous PCO2 in 8 FD patients, 2 CCHS patients, and 19 healthy controls. The values of these parameters were used in a mathematical model to compute the LG of the respiratory control system during sleep for each epoch of respiration analyzed. The strength of the ventilatory oscillations (R) was quantified using power density spectra of the ventilation time series. All subjects were studied at inspiratory O2 concentrations (FIO2) of 0.21 and 0.15; CCHS patients and controls were also studied at 0.12 FIO2 to examine the effect of steady-state hypoxia on respiratory system stability. In 2 FD patients, LG was elevated at both levels of FIO2 and periodic breathing was observed; the values of R were elevated. Elevated mixed venous PCO2 and reduced CO2 delivery capacity were chiefly responsible for the abnormally high LG observed. In three healthy volunteers, high LG and unstable patterns were associated with high chemosensitivity. The CCHS patients, however, remained stable even at 0.12 FIO2 because LG remained equivalent to zero due to a lack of chemosensitivity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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