Hyperventilation, Cerebral Perfusion and Syncope

Rogier Vincent Immink, Frank Christian Pott, Niels H Secher, Johannes J Van Lieshout

46 Citationer (Scopus)


This review summarizes the evidence for an association between hyperventilation (HV)-induced hypocapnia and a reduction in cerebral perfusion leading to syncope defined as transient loss of consciousness (TLOC). The cerebral vasculature is sensitive to changes in both the arterial carbon dioxide (PaCO2) and oxygen (PaO2) partial pressures so that hypercapnia/hypoxia increases and hypocapnia/hyperoxia reduces global cerebral blood flow. Cerebral hypoperfusion and TLOC have been associated with hypocapnia related to HV. Notwithstanding pronounced cerebrovascular effects of PaCO2 the contribution of a low PaCO2 to the early postural reduction in middle cerebral artery blood velocity is transient. HV together with postural stress does not reduce cerebral perfusion to such an extent that TLOC develops. However when HV is combined with cardiovascular stressors like cold immersion or reduced cardiac output brain perfusion becomes jeopardized. Whether in patients with cardiovascular disease and/or defect cerebral blood flow cerebral control HV induced hypocapnia elicits cerebral hypoperfusion leading to TLOC remains to be established.
TidsskriftJournal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985)
Udgave nummer7
Sider (fra-til)844-51
StatusUdgivet - 2014


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