QS Study

Cheyne Stokes breathing is a type of abnormal breathing. It a characterized by slowly waxing and waning occurring over again every 40-60 sec. It is an irregular guide of inhalation characterized by increasingly deeper, and sometimes quicker, breathing followed by a steady decrease that results in a short-term stop in breathing called an apnea.


It is one of several types of unusual breathing with recurrent apneas (dysrhythmias).

  • Congestive cardiac failure (CCF)
  • Uremia
  • Brain diseases
  • During sleep

Fig: Cheyne Stokes breathing – abnormal breathing.


It is generally connected to heart failure or stroke. It might also be caused by brain tumors, traumatic brain injuries, encephalitis, increased intracranial pressure, chronic pulmonary edema etc.


  • When the respiration becomes much more rapid and deeper than usual, the PCO2 in the pulmonary blood decreases.
  • PCO2 inhibit respiration by depressing respiratory centre. As a result, the pulmonary blood PCO2 ↑.
  • Then this blood enters into the respiratory center and stimulates respiration again, thus making the person over breath once again and initiating a new cycle of depressed respiration.
  • The cycles thus continue on and on, causing Cheyne Stokes breathing.