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Spectral analysis of the electromyogram and diaphragmatic muscle fatigue during periodic breathing in infants

, : Spectral analysis of the electromyogram and diaphragmatic muscle fatigue during periodic breathing in infants. Journal of Applied Physiology 58(3): 830-833

Periodic breathing occurs commonly in full-term and preterm infants. The mechanisms which switch breathing on and off within a cycle of periodic breathing are not certain. Since immature infants may experience diaphragmatic muscle fatigue, 1 potential switching mechanism is fatigue. Power spectra of the electromyogram, uncontaminated by the ECG artifact, were studied for evidence of diaphragmatic muscle fatigue during spontaneous periodic breathing in infants. A fall in the high-frequency (103-600 Hz) power and an increase in the low-frequency (23-47 Hz) power during periodic as compared with normal breathing would indicate fatigue. This effect was not observed in any of the infants studied. Hence, there is no evidence that periodic breathing is the result of diaphragmatic muscle fatigue. The effect of drugs such as theophylline in eliminating periodic breathing may be unrelated to the fact that they also reduce fatigue.

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