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Br J Anaesth. 1999 Sep;83(3):430-5.

Role of inhaled nitric oxide in ischaemia-reperfusion injury in the perfused rabbit lung.

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Department of Anaesthesiology and Reanimatology, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University, Japan.


We have tested if inhaled nitric oxide (NO) is beneficial in ischaemia-reperfusion (IR) lung injury using an isolated perfused rabbit lung model. Ischaemia for 60 min was followed by reperfusion and ventilation with nitric oxide 40 ppm (n = 6) or without nitric oxide ventilation (n = 6) for 60 min. In the control group (n = 6), the lungs were perfused continuously for 120 min. Permeability coefficient (Kfc) and vascular resistance (PVR) were measured serially for 60 min after reperfusion. We also determined the left lung W/D ratio and measured nitric oxide metabolites (NOx) and cGMP concentrations in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid from the right lung. IR increased Kfc, PVR and W/D followed by decreased cGMP. Ventilation with nitric oxide restored these changes by preventing the decrease in cGMP. Differences in NOx concentrations in BAL fluid between the control and IR groups were not statistically significant. Our results indicate that IR impaired pulmonary vascular function and resulted in microvascular constriction and leakage. Ventilation with nitric oxide from the beginning of the reperfusion period improved pulmonary dysfunction such as vasoconstriction and capillary leak by restoring cGMP concentrations.

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