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Little is known about how arousal develops during the ventilatory phase of Cheyne-Stokes breathing. This study employs neural network analysis of electroencephalograms (EEGs) to describe these changes and relate them to changes in systolic blood pressure, which is probably a subcortical marker of arousal. Six patients with Cheyne-Stokes respiration (apnoea/hypopnoea index 32-69 h(-1)) caused by stable chronic heart failure underwent polysomnography including arterial beat-to-beat systolic blood pressure determination. Periods of 15 sequential apnoeas during nonrapid eye movement sleep were identified for each subject. For each apnoea, the EEG was examined second-by-second using neural net analysis from 28 s before to 28 s after apnoea termination (first return of oronasal airflow), and this was compared with the systolic blood pressure pattern. During the apnoeic phase, sleep deepened progressively. Arousal started to develop at or just before apnoea termination and progresses through the breathing phase. The rise and fall in the systolic blood pressure closely followed the rise and fall in electroencephalographic sleep depth. In conclusion, during Cheyne-Stokes breathing, cortical electroencephalographic arousal begins at or just before the resumption of breathing. Cortical electroencephalographic sleep depth changes are closely mirrored by changes in arterial systolic blood pressure, suggesting that the state changes in the cortical and basal brain structures may be synchronous.


Journal article


Eur Respir J

Publication Date





940 - 945


Arousal, Blood Pressure, Cheyne-Stokes Respiration, Electroencephalography, Electromyography, Electronic Data Processing, Electrooculography, Heart Failure, Humans, Nerve Net, Plethysmography, Impedance, Sleep Apnea Syndromes, Sleep Stages, Systole