A patient had the rare combination of central neurogenic hyperventilation (PaCO2 of 9 torr) and a normal level of consciousness for eight days. Morphine attenuated but never corrected the hyperventilation. Experimental effects of hypocapnia, which decreases both cerebral blood flow and metabolism in humans, are at odds with the normal mentation initially seen in this patient despite her marked and persistent hypocapnia. Death occurred after progressive brainstem dysfunction. Pathological study showed a well-differentiated astrocytoma involving primarily the medulla and pons, with scattered tumor foci throughout the entire neuraxis. Possible mechanisms for central neurogenic hyperventilation are discussed briefly in relation to the pathological findings and the observed response to morphine.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Annals of Neurology|
|State||Published - 1982|
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