Skip to main content Accessibility help

The Hyperventilation Syndrome

  • Frances Ames


The hyperventilation syndrome is the name given to a distinctive group of symptoms and signs which are caused by an increase in the depth and rate of breathing. This abnormal breathing is nearly always the result of emotional stress.



Hide All
Baker, D. M., “Sighing respiration as a symptom”, Lancet, 1934, i, 174.
Barker, L. F., and Sprunt, T. P., “A spontaneous attack of tetany during a paroxysm of hyperpnoea in a psychoneurotic patient convalescent from epidemic encephalitis”, Endocrinology, 1922, 6, 1.
Barnes, C. G., and Greaves, R. I. N., “The role of calcium in spontaneous overbreathing tetany”, Quart. J. med., 1936, 5, 341.
Bazett, H. C., and Haldane, J. B. S., “Some effects of hot baths on man”, J. Physiol., 1921, 55, 4.
Binet, and Sollier, , Arch. Phys. norm. path., 1895, 7, 719. Cited by Bolton, B., Carmichael, E. A., and Sturup, G., in J. Physiol., 1936, 86, 83.
Bolton, B., Carmichael, E. A., and Sturup, G., “Vasoconstriction following deep inspiration”, J. Physiol., 1936, 86, 83.
Boothby, W. M., and Hinshaw, H. C., “Some aspects of hyperventilation with special reference to aviation medicine”, Proc. Mayo. clin., 1941, 16, 211.
Brazier, M. A. B., Finesinger, J. E., and Schwab, R. S., “Characteristics of the normal electroencephalogram. III. The effect of varying blood-sugar levels on [the occipital cortical potentials in adults during hyperventilation”, J. clin. Invest., 1944, 23, 319.
Brown, W. Langdon, and Hilton, R., Physiological Principles in Treatment. Chapter 7. 1930. Cited by Harrison, G. A., Chemical Methods in Clinical Medicine, 1943, p. 51. London: Churchill.
Cannon, W. B., Bodily changes in Pain, Hunger, Fear and Rage. An Account of Recent Researches into the Function of Emotional Excitement, 1920, p. 202. New York: D. Appleton and Company.
Carryer, H. M. “Syndrome of Hyperventilation with Tetany, report of a case”, Proc. Mayo clin., 1943, 18, 522.
Idem , “The Hyperventilation Syndrome”, Med. clin. of North America, 1947, 31, 845.
Christensen, B. Chr., “Studies on Hyperventilation. I. Electrocardiographic changes in normal man during voluntary hyperventilation”, J. clin. Invest., 1946, 25, 880.
Christie, R. V., “Some types of respiration in the neuroses”, Quart. J. med., 1935, 4, 427.
Clarke, R. S. J., “The effect of voluntary overbreathing on the blood flow through the human forearm”, J. Physiol., 1952, 118, 537.
Collip, J. B., and Backus, P. L., “The effect of prolonged hyperpnoea on the carbon dioxide combining power of the plasma, the carbon dioxide tension of the alveolar air and the excretion of acid and basic phosphate and ammonia by the kidney”, Amer. J. Physiol., 1920, 51, 568.
Cumings, J. N., and Carmichael, E. A., “The cerebrospinal fluid in spontaneous overbreathing tetany”, Lancet, 1937, i, 201.
Darrow, C. W., and Pathman, J. H., “Relation of heart rate to slow waves in the encephalogram during over-ventilation”, Amer. J. Physiol., 1943–44, 140, 583.
Darwin, C., “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals”. Reprinted in Thinker's Library, 1943, p. 151. London: C. A. Watts.
Davis, H., and Wallace, W. McL., “Factors affecting changes produced in electroencephalography by standardized hyperventilation”, Arch. Neurol. Psychiat., 1942, 47, 606.
Dibden, W. A., “The Hyperventilation Syndrome”, Med. J. Australia, 1949, 2, 409.
Duzar, J., and Hensch, W., “Adrenalintetanie”, Jahrb. Kinderheilk., 1926, 114, 142. Cited by Harvey and Lilienthal, Bull. Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1942, 71, 163.
Eichna, L. W., and Wilkins, R. W., “Blood flow to the forearm and calf”, Bull. Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1941, 68, 450.
Engel, G. L., Ferris, E. B., and Logan, M., “Hyperventilation: Analysis of clinical symptomatology”, Ann. intern. Med., 1947, 27, 683.
Fowweather, F. S., Davidson, C. L., and Ellis, L., “Spontaneous Hyperventilation tetany”, Brit. med. J., 1940, ii, 373.
Fraser, R., and Sargent, W., “Hyperventilation attacks—A manifestation in hysteria”, Brit. med. J., 1938, i, 378.
Friedman, M., “Studies concerning the etiology and pathogenesis of neurocirculatory asthenia”, Amer. Heart J., 1945, 30, 325, 478.
Gibbs, E. L., Gibbs, F. A., Lennox, W. G., and Nims, L. F., “Regulation of cerebral carbon dioxide”, Arch. Neurol. Psychiat., 1942, 47, 879.
Gibbs, E. L., Lennox, W. G., and Gibbs, F. A., “Variations in the carbon dioxide content of the blood in epilepsy”, Arch. Neurol. Psychiat., 1940, 43, 223.
Gilliat, R. W., “Vasoconstriction in the finger after deep inspiration”, J. Physiol., 1948, 107, 76.
Idem , “Inspiratory vasoconstriction in patients after spinal injuries”, J. Physiol., 1948, 107, 67.
Gliebe, P. A., and Auerback, A., “Sighing and other forms of hyperventilation simulating organic disease”, J. Nervous and Mental Disease, 1944, 99, 600.
Goetz, R. H., Klin. Wochensch., 1933, 44, 1717. Cited by Goetz in Clin. Proc., 1942, 1, 190.
Idem , Pflueg. Arch., 1935, 235, 271.
Goetz, R. H., “Smoking and Thrombo-angiitis obliterans”, Clin. Proc., 1942, 1, 190.
Idem , “The rate and control of the blood flow through the skin of the upper extremities”, S. Afr. med. Sci., 1943, 8, 65.
Idem , “Clinical Plethysmography”, S. Afr. med. J., 1948, 22, 391, 422.
Idem and Ames, F., “Reflex Vasodilatation by body heating in diagnosis of peripheral vascular disorders”, Arch. intern. Med., 1949, 84, 396.
Goetz, R. H., “Effect of changes in posture on peripheral circulation, with special reference to skin temperature readings and the plethysmogram”, Circulation, 1950, 1, 56.
Goldman, A., “Clinical tetany by forced respiration”, J. Amer. med. Ass., 1922, 78, 2, 1193.
Grant, S. B., and Goldman, A., “A study of forced respiration: Experimental production of tetany”, Amer. J. Physiol., 1920, 52, 209.
Guttman, E., and Jones, M., “Hyperventilation and the Effort Syndrome”, Brit. med. J., 1940, ii, 736.
Haldane, J. S., and Poulton, E. P., “The effects of want of oxygen on respiration”, J. Physiol., 1908, 37, 390.
Harvey, A. M., and Lilienthal, J. L., “Observations on the nature of tetany”, Bull. Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1942, 71, 163.
Henderson, Y., “Acapnia and Shock—4. Fatal apnoea after excessive respiration”, Amer. J. Physiol., 1909, 25, 310.
Herxheimer, H., “Hyperventilation asthma”, Lancet, 1946, 350, 83.
Hill, L., and Flack, M., “The influence of oxygen on muscular work”, J. Physiol., 1910, 40, 347.
Hill, D., and Parr, G. Electroencephalography. A symposium on its varied aspects. First edition. 1950, p. 145152. London: MacDonald.
Kerr, W. J., Dalton, J. A., and Gliebe, P. A., “Some physical phenomena associated with the anxiety states and their relation to Hyperventilation”, Ann. Int. Med., 1937, 11, 961.
Kerr, W. J., Gliebe, P. A., Soley, M. H., and Shock, N. W., “Treatment of the anxiety states; with special attention to certain physiologic manifestations”, J. Amer. med. Ass., 1939, 113, 637.
Kety, S. S., and Schmidt, C. F., “The effects of active and passive hyperventilation on cerebral blood flow, cerebral oxygen consumption, cardiac output and blood pressure of normal young men”, J. Clin. Invest., 1946, 25, 107.
Kugelberg, E., “Neurologic mechanism for certain phenomena in tetany”, Arch. Neurol. Psychiat., 1946, 56, 507.
Idem , “Activation of human nerves by ischemia”, Arch. Neurol. Psychiat., 1948, 60, 140.
Idem , “Activation of human nerves by hyperventilation and hypocalcemia”, Arch. Neurol. Psychiat., 1948, 60, 153.
Lewis, T., Pickering, G. W., and Rothschild, P., “Centripetal Paralysis arising out of arrested blood flow to the limb”, Heart, 1933, 16, 1.
Lewis, T., “Trousseau's phenomenon in tetany”, Clin. Sci., 1942, 4, 361.
Maytum, C. K., and Wiluus, F. A., “Abnormal respiration of functional origin”, Proc. Mayo Clin., 1934, 9, 308. Cited by Silverberg, M. D., Med. J. Australia, 1942, 2, 38.
McCance, R. A., “Spontaneous overbreathing tetany”, Quart. J. Med., 1932, 1, 247.
Idem and Watchorn, E., “Overbreathing tetany: changes in the calcium of serum, serum ultraflltrates, and cerebrospinal fluid”, Lancet, 1937, i, 200.
McKell, T. E., and Sullivan, A. J., “The hyperventilation syndrome in gastroenterology”, Gastroenterology, 1947, 9, 6.
Mills, J. N., “Hyperpnoea induced by forced breathing”, J. Physiol., 1946, 105, 95.
Mulinos, M. G., and Shulman, I., “Vasoconstriction in the hand from a deep inspiration”, Amer. J. Physiol., 1939, 125, 310.
O'Donovan, D. K., “The hyperventilation syndrome”, Irish J. Med. Sci., 1943, 205, 519, 564.
Peters, , Pflueg. Arch., 1939, 241, 201. Cited by Goetz, Clin. Proc., 1942, 1, 190.
Rice, R. L., “Symptom patterns of hyperventilation”, Amer. J. Med., 1950, 8, 691.
Rosett, J., “The experimental production of rigidity, of abnormal involuntary movements and of abnormal states of consciousness”, Brain, 1924, 47, 293.
Rouzzak, N. J., “Hysterical abdominal proptosis”, Gastroenterology, 1951, 17, 133.
Russell, R., Lancet, March 29, 1952, 664.
Scherf, D., and Schlachman, M., “The electrocardiographic changes caused by hyperventilation”, Amer. J. med. Sci., 1947, 213, 342.
Schultzer, P., and Lebel, H., “Spontaneous Hyperventilation tetany”, Acta. med. Scand., 1939, 101, 303.
Silverberg, M. D., “Sighing Dyspnoea and the Hyperventilation syndrome”, Med. J. Australia, 1942, 2, 38.
Soley, M. H., and Shock, N. W., “The etiology of effort syndrome”, Amer. J. med. Sci., 1938, 196, 840.
Stead, E. A., and Warren, J. V., “The role of hyperventilation in the production, diagnosis and treatment of certain anxiety symptoms”, Amer. J. med. Sci., 1943, 206, 183.
Thompson, W. P., “The electrocardiogram in the hyperventilation syndrome”, Amer. Heart J., 1943, 25, 372.
Uhlenbruck, , Z. Biol., 1924, 80, 5. Cited by Bolton et al., J. Physiol., 86, 83.
Vernon, H. M., “The production of prolonged apnoea in man”, J. Physiol., 1909, 38, 18.
Vincent, S., and Thompson, J. H., “The effect of hyper-respiration on the blood pressure in man”, J. Physiol., 1928, 66, 307.
Westdahl, P. R., “Hysterical abdominal distension simulating acute intestinal obstruction”, Californ. Med., 1951, May, 377.
White, P. D., and Hahn, R. G., “The symptom of sighing in cardiovascular diagnosis—with spirographic observations”, Amer. J. med. Sci., 1929, 177, 179.
Wood, P., “Da Costa's syndrome (or Effort Syndrome)”, Brit. med. J., 1941, 1, 767, 805, 845.
Winofield, A., “Hyperventilation tetany in tropical climates”, Brit. med. J. 1941, i, 929.

The Hyperventilation Syndrome

  • Frances Ames


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

The Hyperventilation Syndrome

  • Frances Ames
Submit a response


No eLetters have been published for this article.


Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *