Respiratory changes

In hypothyroidism, there are alterations in pulmonary function. In myxedema coma, pulmonary infections frequently precipitate respiratory dysfunction. Sleep apnea syndrome is of mixed type (Bürgiand König 1988):

1. central, via reduction of cerebral ventilatory response to hypercapnia;

2. obstuctive, via reduction of airway (tongue enlargement).

Central bradypnea and reduction in ventilatory muscle performance lead to alterations of alveolocapillary gas exchange. These abnormalities may explain impaired gas exchanges, with CO2 retention leading to severe hypercapnia and hypoxemia (Nicoloffand LoPresti 1993).

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