Article Text

Abnormal breathing patterns in stroke: relationship with location of acute stroke lesion and prior cerebrovascular disease
  1. Anne M Rowat1,
  2. Joanna M Wardlaw2,
  3. Martin S Dennis2
  1. 1School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care, Napier University, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2Division of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr A M Rowat
 School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care, Napier University, Canaan Lane Campus, Edinburgh EH9 2TB, Scotland, UK;a.rowat{at}


Objective: To determine whether central periodic breathing (CPB) is associated with acute involvement of any particular part of the brain, or the extent of total damage in patients with acute stroke.

Methods: CPB was identified using portable monitoring equipment in patients with stroke on admission. A neuroradiologist classified acute stroke lesions and prior cerebrovascular disease on brain images.

Results: Among 134 patients with acute stroke, those with CPB were more likely to have a large acute stroke lesion in a cerebral hemisphere (p = 0.01) and more mass effect (p = 0.03). There was no association between CPB and severe prior cerebrovascular disease on imaging (p = 0.76).

Conclusion: CPB is related to the acute (not old) lesions, particularly large acute cerebral hemispheric lesions with mass effect. A relationship between lesions in any discrete brain location (unilateral or bilateral) and CPB could not be shown.

  • CPB, central periodic breathing
  • ICH, intracerebral haemorrhage
  • IQR, interquartile range
  • PVWML, periventricular white matter lesions

Statistics from


  • Published Online First 23 October 2006

  • Funding: This study was funded by the Health Foundation (reference number: 2268/1114).

  • Competing interests: None.

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