What is the role of nitric oxide (NO) for treatment of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)?

Updated: Sep 03, 2019
  • Author: Kate A Tauber, MD; Chief Editor: Howard S Weber, MD, FSCAI  more...
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Answer

Answer

Nitric oxide (NO) is an endothelially derived signaling molecule that is a rapid and potent dilator of vascular smooth muscle. An important benefit for infants with PPHN is that it can be delivered through a ventilator because of its low molecular weight. Once in the bloodstream, it avidly binds to hemoglobin, limiting its systemic vascular activity and increasing its selectivity for the pulmonary circulation. Treatment with iNO is usually initiated when the oxygen index (OI) is between 15 and 25. [5]


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