The role of nitric oxide in the treatment of neonatal pulmonary hypertension

Academic Article


  • Nitric oxide production appears to be decreased in infants with persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN). Inhaled nitric oxide may improve oxygenation by two mechanisms: increased pulmonary blood flow and improved ventilation- perfusion matching. Nitric oxide inhalation has been tested in newborns with PPHN, congenital heart diseases, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. We present a review of the articles concerning inhaled nitric oxide for infants with PPHN. Overall, 59% of the neonates had an initial improvement in oxygenation in response to nitric oxide inhalation. A sustained response was observed in 60% of the infants. Patients with extrapulmonary shunting, clear chest radiographs, and adequate lung volume seem to have a better response, whereas patients with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, severe sepsis, and alveolar capillary dysplasia are more likely to fail. To define the benefit-risk ratio, six prospective randomized trials are currently in progress.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Mariani G; Barefield ES; Carlo WA
  • Start Page

  • 118
  • End Page

  • 125
  • Volume

  • 8
  • Issue

  • 2