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1.  Ketotifen and nocturnal asthma. 
Thorax  1983;38(11):845-848.
Patients with asthma often wheeze at night and they also become hypoxic during sleep. To determine whether ketotifen, a drug with sedative properties, is safe for use at night in patients with asthma, we performed a double blind crossover study comparing the effects of a single 1 mg dose of ketotifen and of placebo on arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2), breathing patterns, electroencephalographic (EEG) sleep stage, and overnight change in FEV1 in 10 patients with stable asthma. After taking ketotifen, the patients slept longer and their sleep was less disturbed than after taking placebo, true sleep occupying 387 (SEM 8) minutes after ketotifen and 336 (19) minutes after placebo (p less than 0.02). On ketotifen nights the patients had less wakefulness and drowsiness (EEG sleep stages 0 and 1) and more non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep than on placebo nights, but the duration of REM sleep was similar on the two occasions. Nocturnal changes in SaO2, the duration of irregular breathing, and overnight change in FEV1 were unaffected by ketotifen.
PMCID: PMC459674  PMID: 6359563
2.  Arterial oxygenation during sleep in patients with right-to-left cardiac or intrapulmonary shunts. 
Thorax  1983;38(5):344-348.
We have studied arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2), breathing patterns, and electroencephalographic (EEG) sleep stage during nocturnal sleep in six patients with right-to-left cardiac or intrapulmonary shunts and six patients with chronic bronchitis and emphysema, chosen because they were equally hypoxaemic when awake (SaO2 during wakefulness: bronchitis 74-90%, mean 83%; shunt 77-89%, mean 83%). The patients with bronchitis had far greater falls in SaO2 when asleep than those with shunts (maximum fall in SaO2 during sleep: bronchitis 14-47%, mean 29%; shunt 5-10%, mean 8%; p less than 0.01). Significant episodes of hypoxaemia (defined as SaO2 falls greater than 10%) occurred in all six bronchitic patients, from once to seven times per night, but in none of the patients with shunts (p less than 0.05). Twenty-four of the 27 episodes of hypoxaemia occurred in rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep and 24 were associated with hypopnoea. The two groups of patients had similar EEG sleep patterns and the same amount of hypopnoea during sleep. Thus the level of arterial oxygenation when the patient is awake is not the sole determinant of the degree of nocturnal hypoxaemia; the pathological process is also important.
PMCID: PMC459555  PMID: 6879482

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