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Editorials |

The Saga of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome and Daytime Hypercapnia: Work in Progress

Gökhan M. Mutlu, MD, FCCP; Israel Rubinstein, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Chicago, IL
 ,  Dr. Mutlu is an Assistant Professor of Medicine, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine and Dr. Rubenstein is a Professor of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Correspondence to: Gökhan M. Mutlu, MD, FCCP, Northwestern University, 240 E. Huron, McGaw 2300, Chicago, IL 60611; e-mail: g-mutlu@northwestern.edu



Chest. 2005;127(3):698-699. doi:10.1378/chest.127.3.698
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The current body of clinical evidence suggests that the majority of patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) are eucapnic during wakefulness, and that detection of daytime hypercapnia attests to mechanical impairment of the respiratory system due to obesity (ie, obesity hypoventilation syndrome) and/or COPD.13 While OSAS may contribute to CO2 retention in these patients, no correlation exists between the severity of OSAS and presence of daytime hypercapnia. Conceivably, OSAS could predispose to daytime hypercapnia by causing nocturnal hypoxemia and sleep fragmentation that, in turn, impair mass load compensation, thereby predisposing obese patients to hypercapnia.4

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