Obesity hypoventilation syndrome: mechanisms and management

Amanda J Piper, Ronald R Grunstein
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2011 February 1, 183 (3): 292-8
Obesity hypoventilation syndrome describes the association between obesity and the development of chronic daytime alveolar hypoventilation. This syndrome arises from a complex interaction between sleep-disordered breathing, diminished respiratory drive, and obesity-related respiratory impairment, and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Therapy directed toward reversing these abnormalities leads to improved daytime breathing, with available treatment options including positive pressure therapy, weight loss, and pharmacological management. However, a lack of large-scale, well-designed studies evaluating these various therapies has limited the development of evidence-based treatment recommendations. Although treatment directed toward improving sleep-disordered breathing is usually effective, not all patients tolerate mask ventilation and awake hypercapnia may persist despite effective use. In the longer term, weight loss is desirable, but data on the success and sustainability of this approach in obesity hypoventilation are lacking. The review outlines the major mechanisms believed to underlie the development of hypoventilation in this subgroup of obese patients, their clinical presentation, and current therapy options.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.