Health
Respiratory System

Where does respiratory rhythm originate?

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Wiki User
2007-10-09 22:48:26

For most normal individuals the hypothalmus is is the origin of

central chemoreceptors. These chemoreceptors are very sinsitive to

elevation or drops in pH (or amount of free Hydrogen Ion in the

blood). The equation: H + HCO2 = H2O + CO2

Shows how CO2 in the bloodstreem effects the amount of free H

ion in the blood; in other word the more CO2 in the blood the more

acidic it is and has a lower pH. The lower the pH of the blood is

the more stimulation is given to the central chemoreceptors in the

hypothalmus thus stimulating the phrenic nerve among others to

raise the respiratory rate and blow off the excess CO2.

This process is very different for individuals who are suffering

from chronic CO2 retention (Like in COPD). These indeviduals can

not use the central chemoreceptors due to the excessive CO2 in the

blood is a norm for them! These individuals must now depend on

their peripheral chemoreceptor located through out their body.

These peripheral chemoreceptors are sensitive to O2 levels in the

blood, and are sitmulated by a drop in O2 concentration. This is

why it could be dangerous to give excessive supplimental oxygen to

a person with COPD. If there is no drop in O2 levels (because your

giving them O2) in their blood what stimulates them to breath?

Nothing !!!!! Scary huh? Dont smoke!!!


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