Intermittent hypoxia and the practice of anesthesia.

Department of Anesthesia, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada.
Anesthesiology (Impact Factor: 6.17). 05/2009; 110(4):922-7. DOI: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e31819c480a
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Intermittent hypoxia, a powerful and unique stimulus, leads to physiologic changes that are distinct from those associated with either single or continuous hypoxic exposure. There is an accumulating body of evidence that the neurocognitive, inflammatory and cardiovascular symptoms that characterize the syndrome of obstructive sleep apnea are linked to the stimulus of intermittent hypoxia. In addition, altered sensitivities to opiates in children with obstructive sleep apnea have been linked to recurrent hypoxia during sleep. Therefore anesthesiologists should have an understanding of this important stimulus.

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