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Abstracts |

The Obesity-Hypoventilation Syndrome in Siblings.

John S. Hanson, M.D., F.A.C.P.; Burton S. Tabakin, M.D.; and Herman L. Falsetti, M.D.
Ann Intern Med. 1964;60(4):719. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-60-4-719_1
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The occurrence of the obesity-hypoventilation syndrome with its characteristic features of obesity, cyanosis, somnolence, muscular twitching, and periodic breathing is documented for the first time in siblings. Severe respiratory insufficiency necessitated hospital admission for both brother and sister during the same week.

Appropriate studies revealed extremely low respiratory tidal volumes of 200 ml and values for alveolar minute ventilation approximately one third of normal. Marked carbon dioxide retention was present in both cases, and although alveolar oxygen tensions were low on the basis of hypoventilation, large alveolar-arterial oxygen gradients existed. This was reflected in the arterial oxyhemoglobin saturations of 43


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