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Cardiovasc Res. 1999 Aug 15;43(3):628-38.

Inhaled nitric oxide in cardiology practice.

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Department of Cardiac Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College School of Medicine, London, UK.


Inhaled nitric oxide allows selective pulmonary vasodilatation with rapidity of action. It is effective in the acute post-operative management of pulmonary hypertension in cardiac surgical patients and is also valuable in assessing the pulmonary vasodilator capacity in patients with chronic pulmonary hypertension. This review examines the current role of inhaled nitric oxide in cardiac medicine, discussing issues concerning its administration and toxicity, as well as a summary of clinical studies in cardiac patients. New roles, as a modifier of platelet and leukocyte function, post-thrombolysis and following lung transplantation are described. New agents and alternative therapies, which prolong pulmonary activity, are also discussed.

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