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Respiratory patterns in panic disorder reviewed: a focus on biological challenge tests

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Niccolai V, van Duinen MA, Griez EJ. Respiratory patterns in panic disorder reviewed: a focus on biological challenge tests. Objective: 

To provide a systematic review of studies investigating respiration in PD and comments on relative inconsistencies. Method: 

A Medline search of controlled studies focusing on pCO2, respiratory rate, tidal volume, and minute volume in PD patients was conducted for baseline/resting condition, challenge, and recovery phase. Respiratory variability and comparisons between panickers and non-panickers were also examined. Results: 

Lower pCO2 levels in PD subjects are a consistent finding during the baseline/resting condition, the challenge, and recovery phases. Tidal volume and minute volume are increased in PD subjects relative to controls during the baseline/resting condition. However, the most robust finding is a higher than normal respiratory variability, which appears to be a promising factor for the identification of respiratory etiopathological pathways in PD. Conclusion: 

Respiratory variability might be a candidate for a biological marker of PD: an abnormal breathing pattern as found in panic disorder (PD) patients compared with controls might indicate instability of the respiratory homeostasis.
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Keywords: baseline; challenge; panic; recovery; respiration

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands

Publication date: 2009-09-01

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