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Semin Perinatol. 2000 Dec;24(6):387-95.

Inhaled nitric oxide: current and future uses in neonates.

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Department of Pediatrics, and The Children's Hospital and the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO, USA.


Inhaled nitric oxide (iNO), a selective pulmonary vasodilator, is available for treatment of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn in term and near-term neonates. iNO decreases pulmonary vascular resistance leading to diminished extrapulmonary shunt and also has a microselective effect which improves ventilation/perfusion matching. Clinical trials indicate the need for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is diminished by iNO. Information suggests a 20 ppm starting dose; doses greater than 40 ppm offer no advantage. The typical duration of therapy in responders is less than one week. Several approaches to weaning have been successful. Abrupt discontinuation should be avoided. Ventilatory management remains important when parenchymal lung disease accompanies pulmonary hypertension of the newborn; HFOV used to optimize lung inflation facilitates the action of iNO. Non-ECMO centers should be able to provide iNO during transport to an ECMO center. Data suggest a possible role for iNO in preterms with hypoxemic respiratory failure and studies in this group should proceed.

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