JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Obesity hypoventilation syndrome: a state-of-the-art review

Babak Mokhlesi
Respiratory Care 2010, 55 (10): 1347-62; discussion 1363-5
20875161
Obesity hyoventilation syndrome (OHS) is defined as the triad of obesity, daytime hypoventilation, and sleep-disordered breathing in the absence of an alternative neuromuscular, mechanical or metabolic explanation for hypoventilation. During the last 3 decades the prevalence of extreme obesity has markedly increased in the United States and other countries. With such a global epidemic of obesity, the prevalence of OHS is bound to increase. Patients with OHS have a lower quality of life, with increased healthcare expenses, and are at higher risk of developing pulmonary hypertension and early mortality, compared to eucapnic patients with sleep-disordered breathing. OHS often remains undiagnosed until late in the course of the disease. Early recognition is important, as these patients have significant morbidity and mortality. Effective treatment can lead to significant improvement in patient outcomes, underscoring the importance of early diagnosis. This review will include disease definition and epidemiology, clinical characteristics of the syndrome, pathophysiology, and morbidity and mortality associated with it. Lastly, treatment modalities will be discussed in detail.

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