Medical Definition of Hypoventilation

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Hypoventilation: The state in which a reduced amount of air enters the alveoli in the lungs, resulting in decreased levels of oxygen and increased levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. Hypoventilation can be due to breathing that is too shallow (hypopnea) or too slow (bradypnea), or to diminished lung function. The opposite of hypoventilation is hyperventilation (overbreathing).

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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