Hypoxic ventilatory responses and gas exchange in patients with Parkinson's disease

T. Serebrovskaya, I. Karaban, I. Mankovskaya, L. Bernardi, C. Passino, O. Appenzeller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ventilatory responses to isocapnic, progressive hypoxic rebreathing (HVR), in supine and sitting positions, lung ventilation and gas exchange while breathing air and during 5 min of breathing 11% O2 in N2 were studied in 12 healthy young (20-28 years), 5 old (57-73 years) male subjects, and in 7 male patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) aged 55-67 years. The piecewise linear approximation technique was used for evaluation of the ventilatory response curves, which allowed a separate analysis of slopes during minor and severe hypoxia. It has been shown that body position affected HVR. In the range of P(ET)O2 from 60 to 35 mmHg, the ventilatory response in the sitting position was higher than supine: in young persons by 43%, in healthy old persons by 76%, and in the PD patients by 211%. No significant differences in HVR to minor hypoxia (P(ET)O2 from 100 to 60 mmHg) were found in the 3 groups. During severe hypoxia (P(ET)O2 from 60 to 35 mmHg) the slope of minute ventilation versus O2 was 4.6 (supine) and 2.6 (sitting) times greater in healthy old men than PD patients' slopes. PD patients compared to old controls had 32% lower alveolar ventilation, 10% lower P(ET)O2 and 15% elevation of P(ET)CO2 while breathing air; similar differences were found while the patients were breathing 11% O2. The reduced alveolar ventilation under severe hypoxia in patients with PD could not be attributed to mechanical restriction of lung function. We suggest that the discrepancy in HVR under minor and severe hypoxia results from dysfunction in chemoreception associated with Parkinsonism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-33
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1998


  • Chemosensitivity
  • Dopamine
  • Gas exchange
  • Hypoxia
  • Hypoxic ventilatory response
  • Lung ventilation
  • Old age
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology


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