The periodic irregularity of respiration, characterized by a period of apnea followed by breathing that begins almost imperceptibly, waxes until it becomes dyspneic and then wanes until apnea follows the last shallow breath, was first described by Cheyne, in 1818, and later by Stokes, in 1854.
This type of breathing was considered pathologic by the earlier investigators, but Mosso1 described Cheyne-Stokes respiration in the hibernating dormouse, and in man during sleep and after the administration of chloral. Pembrey2 confirmed the finding of Cheyne-Stokes breathing in hibernating animals, and showed that the administration of carbon dioxide would abolish the irregularity. Pembrey and Allen3 had previously shown that the administration of oxygen, carbon dioxide or gas deficient in oxygen abolished Cheyne-Stokes breathing in a patient and explained the phenomenon by a diminished excitability of the nervous system; the carbon dioxide accumulates and the oxygen diminishes until the nerve cells
GREENE A. CLINICAL STUDIES OF RESPIRATIONIV. SOME OBSERVATIONS ON CHEYNE-STOKES RESPIRATION. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1933;52(3):454–463. doi:10.1001/archinte.1933.00160030115009
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