Hypoventilation is too shallow or too slow breathing, which does not meet the needs of the body. It may also refer to reduced lung function.
If a person hypoventilates, the body's carbon dioxide level rises, which results in too little oxygen in the blood.
Wagner PD, Powell FL, West JB. Ventilation, blood flow, and gas exchange. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, et al, eds. Murrayand Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 4.
Review Date: 2/16/2011
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.