Cheyne Stokes Syndrome diagnosed with a 3D oximeter
In the case of sleep apnea the desaturation has instead a single phase of prolonged and continuous descent to the point of minimum SpO2 while the subsequent ascent is short and steep because of the resumption of breathing.
To ensure that oxygen gets to the cells, it is necessary that it goes through breathing from the atmosphere to the lungs alveoli through the upper airways and bronchi with a cyclic movement of the chest (ventilation ) .
This movement is controlled by the respiration centre of the brainstem and and mobilizes approximately 0.5 liters of air per breath at rest ( tidal volume ) for about 12 breaths per minute ( respiratory rate ) .
In a healthy subject at rest the breathing rhythm is very regular . Even in many obstructive respiratory diseases (asthma and COPD) or restrictive ( fibrosis ) in which you change the current volume the breathing rhythm is maintained regularly.
However, with periodic breathing there is an irregular rhythm even if periodic. The most popular model is the so-called Cheyne Stokes breathing , present in heart failure , probably due to the increase of the transit time of blood from the lungs to the Center of the Breath .
This model is characterized by the continuous repetition of periods of progressive decrease in tidal volume followed by a short period of apnea and an increase in tidal volume , as described above. This sequence is repeated with remarkable regularity.
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