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Clin Exp Immunol. 1994 Jul;97(1):83-6.

Nitric oxide synthesis in patients with advanced HIV infection.

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Infectious Disease Section (111L), Salem VAMC, VA 24153.


The discovery that humans produce nitric oxide and that this molecule plays an important role in cell communication, host resistance to infection, and perhaps in host defence to neoplastic disease, has created much interest in further research on its function in the body. A cytokine-inducible high output L-arginine/nitric oxide pathway was recently detected in patients with advanced malignancy treated with IL-2. The production of nitric oxide was thus examined in patients with advanced HIV infection and in intensive care unit control patients. Extrinsic nitrate and nitrite consumption were carefully controlled in the diet or through the use of total parenteral nutrition. Seven of eight HIV+ patients were placed into positive nitrogen balance. Nitric oxide synthesis was found to be within the normal human range. In contrast, nitric oxide synthesis in extremely ill intensive care unit patients was low normal to depressed.

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