Effects of hypoxia on the complexity of respiratory patterns during maturation.

Early human development

PubMedID: 12441205

Akay M, Lipping T, Moodie K, Hoopes PJ. Effects of hypoxia on the complexity of respiratory patterns during maturation. Early Hum Dev. 2002;70(1-2):55-71.
During hypoxic gasping, the hypoxic neurogram has a steeper rate of rise, an augmented amplitude, and a shorter duration than is seen during eupnea. Because hypoxia reduces neural activity, we hypothesized that gasping would be characterized by low complexity (irregularity) values compared with eupnea in piglets. In this study, we define and quantify changes in the complexity of the phrenic neurogram, the output of the respiratory neural network in piglets using the approximate entropy (ApEn) method which provides a model independent measure of the complexity of the phrenic neurogram. The phrenic neurogram in vagotomized, peripherally chemodenervated, decerebrated piglets was recorded from the C5 phrenic nerve during eupnea and gasping at four postnatal ages; 3-6 days of age (n=8), 7-13 days of age (n=3), 15-21 days of age (n=4), 29-35 days of age (n=10). Nonlinear dynamical analysis of the phrenic neurogram was performed using the approximate entropy method. The mean approximate entropy values for a recording of 5 consecutive breaths during eupnea and 6-29 consecutive breaths during gasping for each piglet in each group during eupnea was calculated. Our results suggested that the mean approximate entropy values for the 3-6 days age group were 1.46+/-0.003 during eupnea and 0.85+/-0.001 during hypoxic gasping. For the 7-13 days age group, the mean approximate entropy values were 1.35+/-0.009 during eupnea and 1.00+/-0.001 during hypoxic gasping. For the 15-21 days age group, they were 1.33+/-0.005 during eupnea and 0.94+/-0.001 during hypoxic gasping. Finally, for the 29-35 days age group, they were 1.38+/-0.002 during eupnea and 0.93+/-0.001 during hypoxic gasping. The shift from eupnea to gasping caused a drastic drop in the mean values of the approximate entropy values at each of these four age groups. These differences in the complexity values of the phrenic neurogram between eupnea and gasping are statistically different at each age group (p<0.001). These findings suggest that during hypoxic gasping, regardless of degree of development, the output of the central pattern generator becomes less complex probably because hypoxia reduces the neural activity.