Pickwickian syndrome


Pickwickian syndrome
an abnormality characterized by extreme obesity accompanied by sleepiness, hypoventilation, and polycythemia.
Also, Pickwick syndrome.
[1955-60; named for Joe, a character in Dickens' The Pickwick Papers who exhibited symptoms of the disorder]

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also called  obesity hypoventilation syndrome 

      a complex of respiratory and circulatory symptoms associated with extreme obesity. The name originates from the fat boy depicted in Charles Dickens (Dickens, Charles)'s The Pickwick Papers, who showed some of the same traits. (By some definitions, to be obese is to exceed one's ideal weight by 20 percent or more; an extremely obese person would exceed the optimum weight by a much larger percentage.) This condition often occurs in association with sleep apnea, which is another common complication of obesity.

      In pickwickian syndrome the rate of breathing is chronically decreased below the normal level. Because of inadequate removal of carbon dioxide by the lungs (lung), levels of carbon dioxide in the blood increase, leading to respiratory acidosis. In more severe instances, oxygen in the blood is also significantly reduced.

      Individuals who have pickwickian syndrome often complain of slow thinking, drowsiness, and fatigue. Low blood oxygen causes the small blood vessels (blood vessel) entering the lungs to constrict, thus increasing pressure in the vessels that supply the lungs. The elevated pressure stresses the right ventricle of the heart, ultimately causing right heart failure. Finally, excessive fluid accumulates throughout the body (peripheral edema), especially beneath the skin of the lower legs.

John Hansen-Flaschen
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pickwickian syndrome — The combination of obesity, somnolence (sleepiness), hypoventilation (underbreathing), and plethoric (red) face. The syndrome is so named because of the fat and red faced boy in a state of somnolency that Charles Dickens described in his novel,… …   Medical dictionary

  • Pickwickian syndrome — noun obesity hypoventilation syndrome …   Wiktionary

  • Pickwickian syndrome — Pathol. an abnormality characterized by extreme obesity accompanied by sleepiness, hypoventilation, and polycythemia. Also, Pickwick syndrome. [1955 60; named for Joe, a character in Dickens The Pickwick Papers who exhibited symptoms of the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Syndrome de pickwick — Le Syndrome de Pickwick a été décrit en 1956 par C.S.Burwell et ses collaborateurs [1]. Ils comparent alors la maladie du personnage des romans de Dickens, au syndrome d obésité extrême associée à l hypoventilation alvéolaire auquel ils donnent… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Syndrome de Pickwick — The Pickwick Club, titré « The Fat Boy awake » de Dickens Le Syndrome de Pickwick a été décrit en 1956 par C.S.Burwell et ses collaborateurs[1]. Ils comparent alors la maladie du personnag …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Syndrome, Pickwickian — The combination of obesity, somnolence (sleepiness), hypoventilation (underbreathing), and plethoric (red) face. The syndrome is so named because of the fat and red faced boy in a state of somnolency that Charles Dickens described in his novel,… …   Medical dictionary

  • syndrome — The aggregate of symptoms and signs associated with any morbid process, and constituting together the picture of the disease. SEE ALSO: disease. [G. s., a running together, tumultuous concourse; (in med.) a concurrence of symptoms, fr. syn,… …   Medical dictionary

  • Obesity hypoventilation syndrome — Classification and external resources Obesity hypoventilation syndrome often improves with positive airway pressure treatment administered overnight by a machine such as this device ICD 10 …   Wikipedia

  • obesity-hypoventilation syndrome — a complex of obesity, somnolence, hypoventilation, and erythrocytosis; called also pickwickian s …   Medical dictionary

  • The Pickwick Papers — For the 1952 film, see The Pickwick Papers (film). For the 1985 television series, see The Pickwick Papers (1985 television series). The Pickwick Papers   …   Wikipedia


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