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Amino Acids and Respiration

CHARLES WEISSMAN, M.D.; JEFFREY ASKANAZI, M.D.; STANLEY ROSENBAUM, M.D.; ALLEN I. HYMAN, M.D.; J. MILIC-EMILI, M.D.; and JOHN M. KINNEY, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Jeffrey Askanazi, M.D.; Department of Anesthesiology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, 630 West 168th Street; New York, NY 10032.


New York, New York; and Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Ann Intern Med. 1983;98(1):41-44. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-98-1-41
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Parenteral nutrition containing glucose and amino acids may stimulate respiration. To ascertain the effects of these solutions on respiration, eight normal subjects received an infusion of 5% dextrose (100 mL/h) for 7 days followed by an infusion of 3.5% amino acids (125 mL/h) for 24 hours. Minute ventilation (VE), tidal volume, mean inspiratory flow (VT/TI), oxygen consumption, and carbon dioxide production were significantly depressed after 7 days of 5% dextrose infusion. Ventilation and metabolic rate increased within 4 hours after initiation of the amino acid infusion and returned to normal 24 hours after the infusion. The effect of the amino acids on (VE) was secondary to an increase in (VT/TI), which is an indicator of neuromuscular ventilatory drive. Thus, within 4 hours amino acids will restore depressed metabolic rate, minute ventilation, and ventilatory drive after prolonged infusion of 5% dextrose.

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