EVIDENCE FOR RESPIRATORY AND NONRESPIRATORY SUBTYPES IN PANIC DISORDER

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Abstract

Recently researchers have posited a “respiratory” subtype of panic disorder (PD), which differs from “nonrespiratory” subtypes in phenomenology and perhaps treatment response. This study was designed to further examine evidence for the existence of a respiratory subtype in PD. Individuals with PD with prominent respiratory symptoms (PD-R; n=10) and without prominent respiratory symptoms (PD-NR; n=23), as well as healthy controls (n=27), underwent a standardized 5% CO2 rebreathing challenge. Ventilatory response and subjective sensation of suffocation were continuously recorded. The PD-R group exhibited greater subjective suffocation levels, rates of respiration, and propensity to terminate the procedure voluntarily than did the other two groups, which in turn did not differ on these measures. Findings are consistent with the existence of a respiratory subtype of PD, which differs from nonrespiratory subtypes in CO2 sensitivity. Depression and Anxiety 23:474-481, 2006. Published 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.†

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