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Vol. 46, No. 2, 1984
Issue release date: 1984
Respiration 1984;46:145–150

Respiratory Function during Pregnancy

Liberatore S.M.a · Pistelli R.a · Patalano F.c · Moneta E.b · Incalzi R.A.a · Ciappi G.a
aIstituto di Clinica Medica Generale e Terapia Medica, bIstituto di Clinica Ostetrica e Ginecologica, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Policlinico A. Gemelli, Roma, Italia, cCentro Auxologico Italiano di Piancavallo, Milano, Italia


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

 goto top of outline Author Contacts

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)

 goto top of outline Article Information

Received: May 11, 1983
Accepted: October 28, 1983
Published online: January 15, 2009
Number of Print Pages : 6

 goto top of outline Publication Details

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)

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