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Lung

, Volume 184, Issue 1, pp 1–5 | Cite as

Inhaled Nitric Oxide Improves Pulmonary Functions Following Massive Pulmonary Embolism: A Report of Four Patients and Review of the Literature

  • Oded SzoldEmail author
  • Wisam Khoury
  • Philippe Biderman
  • Joseph M. Klausner
  • Pinchas Halpern
  • Avi A. Weinbroum
ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTIONS

Abstract

Acute pulmonary embolism increases pulmonary vascular resistance and may lead to acute right ventricular failure and cardiocirculatory collapse and respiratory failure, possibly resulting in substantial morbidity and mortality. Inhaled nitric oxide (NO) dilates pulmonary blood vessels and has been used to reduce pulmonary vascular resistance in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension and acute respiratory distress syndrome. This case series describes our experience with inhaled NO administered to four patients suffering from acute massive pulmonary embolism following abdominal surgery. The four described patients recovering from small bowel resection, pancreatoduodenectomy, hemipelvectomy, or recent gastrointestinal bleeding had severe respiratory and hemodynamic deterioration due to pulmonary embolism. Each received inhaled NO (20–25 ppm) via the inspiratory side of the breathing circuit of the ventilator. Pulmonary and systemic blood pressures, heart rate, and lung gas exchange improved in all the patients within minutes after the initiation of NO administration. Inhaled NO may be useful in treating acute massive pulmonary embolism. This potential application warrants further investigation.

Keywords

Pulmonary embolism Pulmonary hypertension Nitric oxide 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Esther Eshkol is thanked for editorial assistance.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oded Szold
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wisam Khoury
    • 1
  • Philippe Biderman
    • 1
  • Joseph M. Klausner
    • 2
  • Pinchas Halpern
    • 3
  • Avi A. Weinbroum
    • 4
  1. 1.Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Surgery “B”, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  3. 3.Emergency Medicine, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  4. 4.Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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