Originally described in patients with meningitis by Biot (in 1876) as an irregular respiration with pauses.

Nowadays, it is used to describe successive uniform periods of hyperpnea/hyperventilation and apneas -- i.e. uniformly deep gasps, apnea, then more deep gasps.

It is said to be different from Cheyne-Stokes respiration in that it lacks the regularity and pattern of increasing and decreasing rate of respiration.

Biot's breathing is caused by brain damage, increased intracranial pressure and drug-induced respiratory depression.

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