Medical Dictionary

Kussmaul breathing

noun Kuss·maul breathing \ ˈku̇s-ˌmau̇l- \
variants: or Kussmaul's breathing play \-ˌmau̇lz-\ or Kussmaul respiration or Kussmaul's respiration

medical Definition of Kussmaul breathing

:abnormal deep, rapid, labored breathing that occurs as an involuntary response to severe acidosis (such as that associated with diabetes or kidney failure)
Note: Kussmaul breathing serves to give off large amounts of carbon dioxide which temporarily reduces acidosis but typically results in a deficiency of carbon dioxide in the blood.

Biographical Note for kussmaul breathing

  • Kussmaul, Adolf (1822–1902), German physician. Kussmaul made notable contributions to clinical medicine. In 1873 he introduced the concept of paradoxical pulse in a clinical description of obstructive pericarditis. The following year he described the labored breathing in diabetic coma that is now known as Kussmaul breathing.

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