n. - (Greek: hypo-, "lower," "under" kapnos, "smoke")
A state in which the level of carbon dioxide in the blood is lower than normal; can result from deep or rapid breathing. Though different from hyperventilation, the two are closely associated. Hyperventilation is defined as excessive rate or depth of breathing. The increase in ventilation leads to a lowering of alveolar carbon dioxide tension--the definition of hypocapnia. With hypocapnia, the acid-base balance of the blood usually becomes more alkaline, a condition referred to as a respiratory alkalosis.
syn: acapnia