Biot's respiration

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Biot's respiration

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Overview

Biot's respiration, sometimes also called cluster respiration, is an abnormal pattern of breathing characterized by groups of quick, shallow inspirations followed by regular or irregular periods of apnea.

It is distinguished from ataxic respiration by having more regularity and similar-sized inspirations, whereas ataxic respirations are characterized by completely irregular breaths and pauses. As the breathing pattern deteriorates, it merges with ataxic respirations.

Biot's respiration is caused by damage to the medulla oblongata due to strokes or trauma or by pressure on the medulla due to uncal or tentorial herniation. It generally indicates a poor prognosis.

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