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Jornal de Pneumologia

Print version ISSN 0102-3586On-line version ISSN 1678-4642


GURGUEIRA, Gisele Limongeli  and  CARVALHO, Werther Brunow de. Inhaled nitric oxide: clinical application. J. Pneumologia [online]. 2003, vol.29, n.5, pp.325-331. ISSN 0102-3586.

The objective of this paper is to report some clinical and therapeutic aspects of inhaled nitric oxide in pediatrics. Some references were obtained from Medline® using the keywords: inhaled nitric oxide and pediatrics, and critical care. Other sources were the University library and personal files. Along the last decade, clinical trials with inhaled nitric oxide demonstrated only a few specific areas of proven efficacy and a variety of possible adverse events. Toxicity related to inhaled nitric oxide included metahemoglobinemia, cytotoxic pulmonary effects, excess production of nitrogen dioxide and peroxynitrite, and injury to the pulmonary surfactant system. The administration of inhaled nitric oxide to patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension should be cautious, since vasodilatation may increase pulmonary blood flow and lead to excessive preload. Some studies showed the clinical effects related to abrupt nitric oxide withdrawal, including rebound pulmonary hypertension. Current literature supports the therapeutic use of inhaled nitric oxide in persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (gestational age > 34 weeks) to improve oxygenation and avoid extracorporeal oxygenation; and in congenital cardiopathy accompanied by pulmonary hypertension, especially in the immediate postoperative period. To date, research in pediatrics and multicentre trials in adults with inhaled nitric oxide therapy have failed to show mortality reduction or decrease the amount of time under mechanical ventilation for acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute lung injury. This indication needs further investigations. Persistent pulmonary hypertension is the most important indication for inhaled nitric oxide. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved inhaled nitric oxide in acute respiratory distress syndrome for adults and children.

Keywords : Nitric oxide [therapeutic use]; Pediatrics; Pulmonary hypertension; Critical care.

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