Central neurogenic hyperventilation in an awake patient with brainstem astrocytoma

M. Rodriguez, P. L. Baele, H. M. Marsh, H. Okazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


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 languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-628
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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