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Biol Neonate. 1996;69(4):284-92.

Inhalation of nitric oxide: effect on cerebral hemodynamics and activity, and antioxidant status in the newborn lamb.

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Department of Pediatrics (Division of Neonatology), University Hospital Leiden, The Netherlands.


Ventilation with nitric oxide (NO) is increasingly being used to treat pulmonary hypertension in the newborn. In the brain, NO has vasoactive properties and is involved in neurotransmission. However, the effect of inhaled NO on the cerebral blood flow (CBF) and on the cerebral activity is not known. Furthermore, there is little information on the influence of this free radical gas on the redox status in pulmonary vessels. We therefore investigated the effect of inhaled NO (2-60 ppm) on CBF, cerebral activity and redox status in blood effluent from the pulmonary circulation in 6 ventilated newborn lambs before and during group B streptococci (GBS)-induced pulmonary hypertension. Blood pressure in the pulmonary artery (P(ap)) and aorta (Pao), carotid artery blood flow (Qcar) to assess changes in CBF, and electrocortical activity were measured. Blood gases, indices of free radical status and methemoglobin were determined in blood samples obtained from the left ventricle. Inhalation of NO, before and during GBS-induced pulmonary hypertension, decreased P(ap) and PCO2 and increased PO2. Multiple linear regression revealed that Qcar was positively related to PCO2, but not to inhaled NO or PO2 before or during GBS conditions. Electrocortical activity and indices of antioxidative capacity and lipid peroxidation did not change significantly. Methemoglobin was not detected. In conclusion, inhalation of NO (up to 60 ppm) lowered P(ap) without directly affecting CBF, electrocortical activity, and redox status in the pulmonary vessels. CBF, however, can indirectly be influenced by NO-mediated changes in PCO2.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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