Pathophysiology of dyspnea

Loredana Stendardi, Barbara Binazzi, Giorgio Scano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dyspnea is associated with central perception of an overall increase in outgoing motor signal to the respiratory muscles. A coupling between increased central respiratory activity and peripheral displacement is perceived as respiratory effort with avoidance of stress in healthy subjects. On the other hand dissociation between respiratory motor activation and peripheral displacement is thought to play an important role on the increased perception of patients with a variety of pulmonary disorders Moreover chemical afference activating sensory cortex with suppression of ongoing inhibitory feedback below the sensory cortex results in perception of air hunger. Both inspiratory and expiratory muscles and operation lung volumes are important contributors to exercise dyspnea. Hypoxia may increase dyspnea by increasing ventilation, even if the perception might by out of proportion to increase VE. Potential link between respiratory mechanisms and cardiovascular factors could impact on dyspnea and limitation to exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-218
Number of pages11
JournalRassegna di Patologia dell'Apparato Respiratorio
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


  • Arterial blood gases
  • Lung volumes
  • Respiratory muscles
  • Symptoms physical examination
  • Vascular factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Pathophysiology of dyspnea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this