Definition of Periodic breathing

Periodic breathing: Clusters of breaths separated by intervals of apnea (no breathing) or near-apnea. As opposed to normal breathing which is usually regular.

Periodic breathing was originally thought to arise from serious neurologic or cardiovascular disease and therefore to carry a poor outlook. It is now known that periodic breathing also tends to occur during sleep, it can occur in healthy persons, and the apnea in periodic breathing is usually central (without respiratory movements) rather than obstructive (caused by upper-airway blockage).

Periodic breathing during sleep occurs typically in patients with congestive heart failure.


Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

Search MedTerms:


Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Pill Identifier Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill finder tool on RxList.

STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!