What are hypoventilation syndromes?

Updated: Jul 22, 2021
  • Author: Jazeela Fayyaz, DO; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Alveolar hypoventilation is caused by several disorders that are collectively referred as hypoventilation syndromes. Alveolar hypoventilation is defined as insufficient ventilation leading to hypercapnia, which is an increase in the partial pressure of carbon dioxide as measured by arterial blood gas analysis (PaCO2). [1] (See Etiology.)

Patients who hypoventilate may develop clinically significant hypoxemia, and the presence of hypoxemia along with hypercapnia aggravates the clinical manifestations seen with hypoventilation syndromes. Alveolar hypoventilation may be acute or chronic and may be caused by several mechanisms. (See Etiology and Presentation.)

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