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Laryngoscope. 2000 Mar;110(3 Pt 1):429-33.

Hypoxia depresses nitric oxide output in the human nasal airways.

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Department of Otolaryngology, St. Michael's Hospital, Ontario, Canada.



The role of oxygen in the nasal air on nasal nitric oxide (NO) output was studied in 13 adult volunteers.


Nasal NO was measured while air containing oxygen (0%-100% in nitrogen) was aspirated through the nasal airway before and after the topical application of xylometazoline.


The mean nasal NO output of the untreated nose was 507.8 +/- 161.9 nL/min (mean +/- SD) when 21% oxygen was aspirated through the nasal cavities in series and remained unaltered by 100% O2 (P = .79). Below 10% oxygen the reduction in nasal NO output correlated positively and significantly with the decrease in oxygen concentration (r2 = 0.14). NO output was 245.2 +/- 153.4 nL/min at 0% oxygen, a significant decline from 21% oxygen (P < .0001). Nasal vasoconstriction induced by xylometazoline and alterations in the blood oxygen content by a maximal breath-holding or breathing 100% oxygen did not alter nasal NO in hypoxia (P = .41).


Nasal NO output is markedly depressed in hypoxia and is oxygen dependent at concentrations of less than 10%. Approximately 50% of nasally generated NO is produced from oxygen in nasal air or regulated by it.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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