Inhaled nitric oxide selectively dilates pulmonary vasculature in adult patients with pulmonary hypertension, irrespective of etiology

Richard A. Krasuski, John J. Warner, Andrew Wang, J. Kevin Harrison, Victor F. Tapson, Thomas M. Bashore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: We sought to compare the responses of patients with pulmonary hypertension from primary and secondary causes (PPH and SPH, respectively) to inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) in the cardiac catheterization laboratory. BACKGROUND: Pulmonary hypertension can lead to right ventricular pressure overload and failure. Although vasodilators are effective as therapy in patients with PPH, less is known about their role in adults with SPH. Inhaled nitric oxide can accurately predict the response to other vasodilators in PPH and could be similarly utilized in SPH. METHODS: Forty-two patients (26 to 77 years old) with pulmonary hypertension during cardiac catheterization received iNO. Demographic and hemodynamic data were collected. Their response to iNO was defined by a decrease of ≥20% in mean pulmonary artery (PA) pressure or pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR). RESULTS: Mean PA pressures and PVR were lower during nitric oxide (NO) inhalation in all patients with pulmonary hypertension. Seventy-eight percent of patients with PPH and 83% of patients with SPH were responders to iNO. A trend was seen toward a greater response with larger doses of NO in patients with SPH. Nitric oxide was a more sensitive predictor of response (79%), compared with inhaled oxygen (64%), and was well tolerated, with no evidence of systemic effects. Elevation in right ventricular end-diastolic pressure appeared to predict poor vasodilatory response to iNO. CONCLUSIONS: Nitric oxide is a safe and effective screening agent for pulmonary vasoreactivity. Regardless of etiology of pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary vasoreactivity is frequently demonstrated with the use of NO. Right ventricular diastolic dysfunction may predict a poor vasodilator response. (C) 2000 by the American College of Cardiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2204-2211
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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