Watson M; Ionescu MF; Sylvester K; Fuld J;
European respiratory review : an official journal of the European Respiratory Society [Eur Respir Rev] 2021 Apr 13; Vol. 30 (160). Date of Electronic Publication: 2021 Apr 13 (Print Publication: 2021).
Dysfunctional breathing refers to a multi-dimensional condition that is characterised by pathological changes in an individual’s breathing. These changes lead to a feeling of breathlessness and include alterations in the biomechanical, psychological and physiological aspects of breathing. This makes dysfunctional breathing a hard condition to diagnose, given the diversity of aspects that contribute to the feeling of breathlessness. The disorder can debilitate individuals without any health problems, but may also be present in those with underlying cardiopulmonary co-morbidities. The ventilatory equivalent for CO 2 ( V eqCO 2 ) is a physiological parameter that can be measured using cardiopulmonary exercise testing. This review will explore how this single measurement can be used to aid the diagnosis of dysfunctional breathing. A background discussion about dysfunctional breathing will allow readers to comprehend its multidimensional aspects. This will then allow readers to understand how V eqCO 2 can be used in the wider diagnosis of dysfunctional breathing. Whilst V eqCO 2 cannot be used as a singular parameter in the diagnosis of dysfunctional breathing, this review supports its use within a broader algorithm to detect physiological abnormalities in patients with dysfunctional breathing. This will allow for more individuals to be accurately diagnosed and appropriately managed.