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Children at high altitude have less nocturnal periodic breathing than adults


Kohler, M; Kriemler, S; Wilhelm, E M; Brunner-LaRocca, H; Zehnder, M; Bloch, K E (2008). Children at high altitude have less nocturnal periodic breathing than adults. European Respiratory Journal, 32(1):189-197.

Abstract

Although children commonly travel to high altitudes, their respiratory adaptation to hypoxia remains elusive. Therefore, in the present study respiratory inductive plethysmography, pulse oximetry (S(p,O(2))) and end-tidal CO(2) tension (P(ET,CO(2))) were recorded in 20 pre-pubertal children (aged 9-12 yrs) and their fathers during 1 night in Zurich (490 m) and 2 nights at the Swiss Jungfrau-Joch research station (3,450 m) following ascent by train within <3 h. In children, mean+/-sd nocturnal S(p,O(2)) fell from 98+/-1% at 490 m to 85+/-4 and 86+/-4% at 3,450 m (nights 1 and 2, respectively); P(ET,CO(2)) decreased significantly from 37+/-6 to 32+/-3 and 33+/-4 mmHg (3,450 versus 490 m). In adults, changes in nocturnal S(p,O(2)) and P(ET,CO(2)) at 3,450 m were similar to those in children. Children spent less time in periodic breathing at 3,450 m during night 1 and 2 (8+/-11 and 9+/-13%, respectively) than adults (34+/-24 and 22+/-17%, respectively), and their apnoea threshold for CO(2) was lower compared with adults (27+/-2 and 30+/-2 mmHg, respectively, both nights). S(p,O(2)), P(ET,CO(2)) and time in periodic breathing at altitude were not correlated between children and their fathers. In conclusion, children revealed a similarly reduced nocturnal O(2) saturation and associated hyperventilation at high altitude as adults but their breathing pattern was more stable, possibly related to a lower apnoea threshold for CO(2).

Abstract

Although children commonly travel to high altitudes, their respiratory adaptation to hypoxia remains elusive. Therefore, in the present study respiratory inductive plethysmography, pulse oximetry (S(p,O(2))) and end-tidal CO(2) tension (P(ET,CO(2))) were recorded in 20 pre-pubertal children (aged 9-12 yrs) and their fathers during 1 night in Zurich (490 m) and 2 nights at the Swiss Jungfrau-Joch research station (3,450 m) following ascent by train within <3 h. In children, mean+/-sd nocturnal S(p,O(2)) fell from 98+/-1% at 490 m to 85+/-4 and 86+/-4% at 3,450 m (nights 1 and 2, respectively); P(ET,CO(2)) decreased significantly from 37+/-6 to 32+/-3 and 33+/-4 mmHg (3,450 versus 490 m). In adults, changes in nocturnal S(p,O(2)) and P(ET,CO(2)) at 3,450 m were similar to those in children. Children spent less time in periodic breathing at 3,450 m during night 1 and 2 (8+/-11 and 9+/-13%, respectively) than adults (34+/-24 and 22+/-17%, respectively), and their apnoea threshold for CO(2) was lower compared with adults (27+/-2 and 30+/-2 mmHg, respectively, both nights). S(p,O(2)), P(ET,CO(2)) and time in periodic breathing at altitude were not correlated between children and their fathers. In conclusion, children revealed a similarly reduced nocturnal O(2) saturation and associated hyperventilation at high altitude as adults but their breathing pattern was more stable, possibly related to a lower apnoea threshold for CO(2).

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25 citations in Web of Science®
27 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Pneumology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:19 Jan 2009 10:20
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:50
Publisher:European Respiratory Society
ISSN:0903-1936
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1183/09031936.00119807
PubMed ID:18287125

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