We studied the respiratory mechanics, acid-base status, alveolar ventilation and ventilatory response to hypercapnia in pregnant women at the first and third trimesters and postpartum. We found alveolar hyperventilation and hypersensitivity of the respiratory centers to carbon dioxide with no significant differences between the first and third trimesters. After delivery we found a sudden decrease in these parameters. The changes seem to be due to a direct primary (probably hormonal) stimulation on the medulla oblongata and cannot be correlated to the metabolic needs of the fetus and are aimed at favoring placental gas exchanges, especially at the beginning of the pregnancy, when the fetal cardiovascular system is not yet developed
Dr. Sergio M. Liberatore, Istituto di Clinica Medica Generale Servizio di Fisiopatologia Respiratoria, Università Cattolica del S. Cuore, Via della Pineta Sacchetti 644, I-00168 Roma (Italy)
Received: May 11, 1983
Accepted: October 28, 1983
Published online: January 15, 2009
Number of Print Pages : 6
Respiration (International Journal of Thoracic Medicine)
Vol. 46, No. 2, Year 1984 (Cover Date: 1984)
Journal Editor: Bolliger C.T. (Cape Town)
ISSN: 0025-7931 (Print), eISSN: 1423-0356 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/RES
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