Skip to main content


Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Hypercapnia and respiratory drive in obstructive sleep apnea patients before and after CPAP treatment

  • 3052 Accesses


To investigate the respiratory drive and the response to CPAP treatment in obstructive sleep apnea patients.


Twenty-one consecutive patients (19 males/2 females) with newly diagnosed disease with polysomnography were enrolled in this study. Blood gases, body mass index measurement (BMI) and spirometry were performed in all patients. Respiratory drive was evaluated by using the P0.1 technique and the mean inspiratory flow (VT/TI). P0.1 was also measured during sub maximal exercise by using the same technique. All parameters of the respiratory cycle were measured during the P0.1 procedure (VT, f, VE, TI, TTOT, TI/TTOT). We evaluated all the parameters before and 2 days after CPAP treatment.


There was no significant difference in BMI, PO2, FEV1, FVC, respiratory cycle indices and P0.1 at rest. PCO2 was significantly reduced (44 ± 5 vs 42 ± 6 mmHg) after treatment. At exercise P0.1and VT/TI were significantly reduced (6.6 ± 2.7 vs 4.9 ± 1.6 cmH2O, P < 0.01 and 72 ± 16 vs 64 ± 10, P < 0.05, respectively).


The unchanged respiratory drive at rest may not reduction in explain the PCO2 reduction in our population. The significantly reduced respiratory drive and mean inspiratory flow during exercise could possibly explain change of ventilatory control, which may not be detected at rest.

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Tasiou, A., Nanas, S., Prekates, A. et al. Hypercapnia and respiratory drive in obstructive sleep apnea patients before and after CPAP treatment. Crit Care 6, P40 (2002).

Download citation


  • Public Health
  • Body Mass Index
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Sleep Apnea