Evidence for respiratory and nonrespiratory subtypes in panic disorder

Kenneth Abrams, Yuri Rassovsky, Matt G. Kushner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


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 non-respiratory subtypes in CO2 sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-481
Number of pages8
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2006


  • Carbon dioxide
  • Panic disorder
  • Respiratory subtype
  • Subtypes
  • Suffocation

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