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Eur J Clin Invest. 2002 Aug;32(8):628-35.

Inhaled nitric oxide: more than a selective pulmonary vasodilator.

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  • 1Ospedale G. Pasquinucci, CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology and G. d'Annunzio University, Chieti, Italy. gianetti@ifc.pi.cnr.it


Because of its high diffusing capacity through the alveolar-blood barrier and its high selectivity for the pulmonary vasculature, inhaled nitric oxide (NO) has been recently shown to be a viable and efficient approach to restore pulmonary NO deficiency. The most relevant applications of inhaled NO are in infants with primary pulmonary hypertension or hypoxia. In these patients, inhaled NO improves gas exchange and ventilation-perfusion matching, reduces the length of hospitalization and is without severe detrimental effects. The use of inhaled NO has also been extended to adults with pulmonary hypertension and the acute respiratory distress syndrome. In addition, recent clinical evidence supported by data from animal models, shows beneficial extra-pulmonary effects of inhaled NO, including protection against myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury.

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