Everything About Cheyne Stroke Breathing

Everything About Cheyne Stroke

A type of abnormal breathing is called Cheyne stroke breathing. In Cheyne stroke breathing, the breathing pattern lowly increases, then it slowly decreases. Sometimes apnea can also occur where the breathing process of the person completely stops. It is only for a short time, but it is terrific. Then again, the cycle of deep and shallow breathing starts. It can last for at least 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Mainly it occurs when the person is asleep, but it can also happen when the person is awake. Here is everything you need to know about Cheyne stroke.

How It Occurs?

The exact process of the Cheyne stroke is still unknown, but here are some possibilities.

  1. The increased or decreased levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen can lead to hyperventilation and apnea.
  2. Circulation time is not directly related to this problem. But delayed circulation affects the duration of the cycle of Cheyne stroke.
  3. Blood gas buffering capacity can also be a factor as it maintains the level of carbon dioxide in blood by expelling it through exhalation.

What Are The Causes Behind It?

Here are some of the causes of Cheyne’s stroke.

  • Usually, Cheyne stroke is mainly related to heart failure.
  • Brain tumors can also lead to Cheyne stroke.
  • Traumatic brain injuries are another cause of Cheyne stroke.
  • If a person has any severe illness, then it can also lead to a Cheyne stroke.
  • Cheyne stroke is also caused due to encephalitis.
  • If a person has chronic pulmonary edema, then a Cheyne stroke can also occur.
  • An increase in intracranial pressure can also cause Cheyne stroke.
  • The people who are dying also experience Cheyne stroke breathing.
  • Kidney failure can also be the cause.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning can also lead to Cheyne stroke.
  • Altitude sickness can also be the cause.

What Are The Symptoms Of Cheyne Stroke Breathing?

Here are some of the symptoms of Cheyne stroke that a person experiences.

  1. The shortness of breath when a person is lying down. This condition is called orthopnea.
  2. A person can also experience extreme shortness of breath accompanied by coughing fits. This condition is called Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea. It mainly occurs at night, and a person cannot sleep properly.
  3. The person remains fatigued all the time. He feels sleepy all day.

Who Are At The Risk?

These are the people who are at the risk of Cheyne Stroke Breathing.

  • Cheyne stroke breathing is more common in people with neurological and heart issues.
  • According to research, almost 50 percent of people with congestive heart failure experience Cheyne stroke breathing.
  • Cheyne stroke breathing is also a symptom of sleep apnea.
  • Again the real cause and the people who are at risk are still unknown. The reason is that it occurs mainly at night when a person is sleeping.

What Is The Risk If A Person Experiences Cheyne Stroke?

If a person experiences Cheyne stroke breathing, then it can cause heart failure and stroke. Other problems can also occur because Cheyne stroke is also considered a risk for the person.

How Is It Diagnosed?

Diagnosing Cheyne stroke is not easy as it mainly occurs during sleep. If a person notices any symptoms of Cheyne stroke at night, he should ask his doctor. Suppose the person is facing issues when he is aw. In that case, then he can tell all his signs, and the doctor can do his physical examination. Then the doctor can know whether he has a Cheyne stroke breathing or not.

If the person is having a Cheyne stroke at night, then the doctor will recommend polysomnography. It is a sleep study where the patient is asked to sleep at the hospital. The doctor will check the patient’s heart rate, breathing rate, eye movement, blood oxygen level, brain waves, and other movements during sleep.

How Is It Treated?

Here is how Cheyne stroke can be treated.

  1. Treating congestive heart failure can help reduce the signs of Cheyne stroke breathing. This treatment includes medication, doing cardiac valve surgery, doing heart transplants, placing pacemakers.
  2. Short-term oxygen treatment is also proved to be very effective in alleviating the signs of Cheyne stroke. This night oxygen therapy also helps a person to improve his daily life.
  3. Continuous positive airway pressure is another effective treatment for treating Cheyne stroke. In this, the person has to wear a mask over his mouth or nose. Then a mild air pressure is used to keep the airways of the person open. It will improve the sleep quality of the person, blood pressure and reduce the risk of Cheyne stroke in the person. According to research, 43 percent of people noticed improvements after continuous positive airway pressure.

How Can Cheyne Stroke Breathing Be Prevented?

Cheyne stroke can be prevented by preventing the situations that can cause it, like congestive heart failures and strokes. Exposure to heavy metals causes encephalopathy. A person should avoid heavy metals to avoid Cheyne stroke. If a person experiences Cheyne stroke breathing, then his doctor will prescribe him a treatment plan. He must follow that treatment plan to prevent this condition from occurring again.

Other Respiratory Problems

There are other respiratory problems that people misinterpret with Cheyne stroke.

Kussmaul Breathing

In this condition, only deep and fast breathing occurs. There is no shallow breathing.

Cluster Breathing

In this condition, only shallow and rapid breathing occurs. There is no deep breathing.


In hyperventilation, the person experiences deep and rapid breathing. The oxygen level in his blood increases and the level of carbon dioxide decreases.


In hypoventilation, the person experiences prolonged breathing. The level of oxygen decreases in his body, and carbon dioxide increases in his body.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

In obstructive sleep apnea, the breathing of the person stops for a few seconds. It occurs due to the collapsing of the upper airway. It can appear several times in an hour. It is commonly caused by obesity.


Cheyne stroke is a severe problem. Many health problems can lead to this problem, but it is not always necessary. It can also occur in healthy people. Take proper medical assistance to avoid any serious trouble.


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