Document Detail

Respiratory and psychiatric abnormalities in chronic symptomatic hyperventilation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  3922504     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Many physicians believe that the hyperventilation syndrome is invariably associated with anxiety or undiagnosed organic disease such as asthma and pulmonary embolus, or both. Twenty one patients referred by specialist physicians with unexplained somatic symptoms and unequivocal chronic hypocapnia (resting end tidal Pco2 less than or equal to 4 kPa (30 mm Hg) on repeated occasions during prolonged measurement) were investigated. All but one complained of inability to take a satisfying breath. Standard lung function test results and chest radiographs were normal in all patients, but histamine challenge showed bronchial hyper-reactivity in two of 20 patients tested, and skin tests to common allergens were positive in three of 18. Ventilation-perfusion scanning was abnormal in a further three of 15 patients studied, with unmatched perfusion defects in two and isolated ventilation defects in one. None of the 21 had thyrotoxicosis, severe coronary heart disease, or other relevant cardiovascular abnormalities. Ten of the 21 patients were neurotic and suffered from chronic psychiatric disturbance characterised by anxiety, panic, and phobic symptoms. The remainder had no detectable psychiatric disorders but reported proportionately more somatic than anxiety symptoms. Severe hyperventilation can occur in the absence of formal psychiatric or detectable respiratory or other organic abnormalities. Asthma and pulmonary embolus must be specifically excluded.
C Bass; W N Gardner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  British medical journal (Clinical research ed.)     Volume:  290     ISSN:  0267-0623     ISO Abbreviation:  Br Med J (Clin Res Ed)     Publication Date:  1985 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1985-07-10     Completed Date:  1985-07-10     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8302911     Medline TA:  Br Med J (Clin Res Ed)     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1387-90     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
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MeSH Terms
Anxiety Disorders / complications
Bronchi / drug effects
Chronic Disease
Drug Hypersensitivity
Histamine / pharmacology
Hyperventilation / etiology*,  physiopathology,  psychology
Mental Disorders / complications*,  physiopathology
Middle Aged
Respiration Disorders / complications*,  physiopathology
Ventilation-Perfusion Ratio
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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