My watch list  


Name of Symptom/Sign:
Classifications and external resources
ICD-10 R06.0
ICD-9 786.02

Orthopnea (Greek from ortho, straight + pnoia, breath) is dyspnea which occurs when lying flat, causing the person to have to sleep propped up in bed or sitting in a chair. Orthopnoea is a symptom of heart failure. It can also occur in those with asthma and chronic bronchitis, as well as those with sleep apnea or panic disorder. The condition is often due to left ventricular failure and/or pulmonary edema. It is also associated with Polycystic Liver Disease.

Patients with orthopnoea often complain of waking up suddenly during the night 'unable to breathe' if they have slipped down from their pillows into the supine position. They may run to the window to 'get some air'.

It is commonly measured according to the number of pillows needed to prop the patient up to enable breathing (Example: "3 pillow orthopnea").

See also


Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (2006). Stedman's Medical Dictionary, 28th Edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Julie K. Stegman, 1383. ISBN 0-7817-3390-1. 

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Orthopnoea". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE