Cardiovascular control during sleep in infants: Implications for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Rosemary Sylvia Claire Horne, Nicole Brie Smith, Stephanie Yiallourou, Sonia Scaillet, Gerard Thiriez, Patricia Franco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


In infants the cardiorespiratory system undergoes significant functional maturation after birth and these changes are sleep-state dependent. Given the immaturity of these systems it is not surprising that infants are at risk of cardiorespiratory instability, especially during sleep. A failure of cardiovascular control mechanisms in particular is believed to play a role in the final event of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The triple risk model describes SIDS as an event that results from the intersection of three overlapping factors: (1) a vulnerable infant, (2) a critical development period in homeostatic control, and (3) an exogenous stressor. This review summarises normal development of cardiovascular control during sleep in infants and describes the association of impaired cardiovascular control with the three overlapping factors proposed to be involved in SIDS pathogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615 - 621
Number of pages7
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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