Breath-holding in healthy and pulmonary-compromised populations: Effects of hyperventilation and oxygen inspiration

Document Type


Publication Date



Suspension of respiration during end-expiration often is recommended to minimize body organ displacement between sequential image acquisitions. The purpose of this report is to evaluate techniques for end-expiratory breath- holding applicable to a pulmonary-compromised population. Eighty-seven consecutive outpatients with chronic pulmonary diseases and 31 healthy nonsmoking volunteers were recruited for the study. All subjects were asked to hold their breath in end-expiration while in the supine position (29 after breathing room air, 29 after hyperventilating room air for six breaths, and 29 after breathing O2 from a portable oxygen tank via nasal cannula until pulse-oximeter readings stabilized or reached 100%). Each volunteer was tested with all three methods. The mean length of time for a breath-hold on room air without hyperventilation was 9.2 seconds for the patients and 31.7 seconds for the volunteers. A breath-hold after hyperventilation of room air was timed at 12.3 seconds for the patients and 41.2 seconds for the volunteers, and after O2 administration, the breath-hold was 22.4 seconds for the patients and 60.9 seconds for the volunteers. No adverse effects occurred. The pulmonary-compromised patient can suspend respiration most successfully after O2 administration (P < .0001), whereas hyperventilation seems to be less beneficial. Nonpulmonary - compromised volunteers can hold their breath for longer periods of time.

Publication Title

Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging





First Page


Last Page



This article was published in Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Volume 7, Issue 3, Pages 595-597.

The published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmri.1880070323.

Copyright © 1997.

This document is currently not available here.