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Pulmonary Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 568690, 9 pages
Review Article

Positive Pressure for Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome

1Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Bridgeport Hospital, Bridgeport, CT 06610, USA
2Hospital of Central Connecticut, 100 Grand Street, New Britain, CT 06050, USA

Received 9 April 2012; Revised 10 August 2012; Accepted 24 August 2012

Academic Editor: Kazuo Chin

Copyright © 2012 Arijit Chanda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Obesity is increasing world-wide; obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS), formerly Pickwickian syndrome, has increased in parallel. Despite its prevalence, OHS has not been studied well, but there is abundant evidence that it is tightly linked with sleep-disordered breathing, most commonly obstructive sleep apnea. This article reviews the pathophysiology of OHS as well as the literature regarding the benefits of treating this disorder with positive airway pressure. We also emphasize that while positive pressure treatments may temporize cardiopulmonary disease progression, simultaneous pursuit of weight reduction is central to long-term management of this condition.