Show Summary Details
Page of

Chronic respiratory failure 

Chronic respiratory failure
Chapter:
Chronic respiratory failure
Author(s):

Michael I. Polkey

, and P.M.A. Calverley

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0434
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 February 2021

Chronic respiratory failure describes a clinical state when the arterial Po2 breathing air is less than 8.0 kPa, which may or may not be associated with hypercapnia (defined as Pco2 more than 6.0 kPa (45 mm Hg)). Four processes cause arterial hypoxaemia due to inefficient pulmonary gas exchange—ventilation–perfusion (V/Q) mismatch, hypoventilation, diffusion limitation, and true shunt, with the most important of these being V/Q mismatching. The arterial CO2 is increased by inadequate alveolar ventilation and/or V/Q abnormality. A wide range of disorders can cause chronic respiratory failure, with the commonest being chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, interstitial lung diseases, chest wall and neuromuscular diseases, and morbid obesity.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.