Medical Dictionary

Cheyne–Stokes respiration

noun \ˌchān(-ē)-ˌstōks-\

Medical Definition of Cheyne–Stokes respiration

  1. :  cyclic breathing marked by a gradual increase in the rapidity of respiration followed by a gradual decrease and total cessation for from 5 to 50 seconds and found especially in advanced kidney and heart disease, asthma, and increased intracranial pressure—called also Cheyne-Stokes breathing

Biographical Note for cheyne–stokes respiration




(1777–1836), British physician. One of the founding fathers of modern medicine in Ireland, Cheyne published reports on a number of medical subjects, including stroke, epidemic fevers, dysentery, melena, jaundice of the newborn, incipient phthisis, and fatal erethism of the stomach. In 1808 he produced an original description of acute hydrocephalus. In 1818 he published his original observations on a kind of breathing irregularity which was to become known as Cheyne-Stokes respiration.




(1804–1878), British physician. Stokes produced more than 140 books and articles, covering such medical topics as intestinal disorders, mediastinal tumors, hydrocephalus, cerebrospinal meningitis, cancer of the mouth, and sarcoma of the scrotum. His most important works were concerned with diseases of the chest, heart, and aorta. His book Diseases of the Chest (1837) was the first treatise on the subject in modern medicine. His 1846 description of heart block, described previously by Giovanni Morgagni and later by Robert Adams, was a classic, detailed description that was based on case histories from several sources. In 1854 Stokes used Cheyne's observations on respiration as a point of departure and wrote an extended description of the condition now known as Cheyne-Stokes respiration.

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