Inhaled nitric oxide (NO) for the treatment of early allograft failure after lung transplantation

G. I. Kemming, M. J. Merkel, A. Schallerer, O. P. Habler, M. S. Kleen, M. Haller, J. Briegel, C. Vogelmeier, H. Fürst, B. Reichart, B. Zwissler

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50 Scopus citations


Objective: Inhalation of high concentrations of nitric oxide (NO) has been shown to improve gas exchange and to reduce pulmonary vascular resistance in individuals with ischemia-reperfusion injury following orthotopic lung transplantation. We assessed the cardiopulmonary effects of low doses of NO in early allograft dysfunction following lung transplantion. Design: Prospective clinical dose-response study. Setting: Anesthesiological intensive care unit of a university hospital. Patients and participants: 8 patients following a single or double lung transplantation who had a mean pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP) in excess of 4.7 kPa (35 mmHg) or an arterial oxygen tension/fractional inspired oxygen ratio (PaO2/FIO2) of less than 13.3 kPa (100 mmHg). Interventions: Gaseous NO was inhaled in increasing concentrations (1, 4 and 8 parts per million, each for 15 min) via a Siemens Servo 300 ventilator. Measurements and results: Cardiorespiratory parameters were assessed at baseline, after each concentration of NO, and 15 min after withdrawal of the agent [statistics: median (25th/75th percentiles: Q1/Q3), rANOVA, Dunnett's test, p < 0.05]. Inhaled NO resulted in a significant, reversible, dose-dependent, selective reduction in PAP from 5.5 (5.2/6.0) kPa at control to 5.1 (4.7/5.6) kPa at 1 ppm, 4.9 (4.3/5.3) kPa at 4 ppm, and to 4.7 (4.1/5.1) kPa at 8 ppm. PaO2 increased from 12.7 (10.4/17.1) to 19.2 (12.4/26.0) kPa at 1 ppm NO, to 23.9 (4.67/26.7) kPa at 4 ppm NO and to 24.5 (11.9/28.7) kPa at 8 ppm NO. All patients responded to NO inhalation (either with PAP or PaO2), all were subject to long-term inhalation (1-19 days). All were successfully weaned from NO and were discharged from the intensive care unit. Conclusion: The present study demonstrates that low-dose inhaled NO may be an effective drug for symptomatic treatment of hypoxemia and/or pulmonary hypertension due to allograft dysfunction subsequent to lung transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1173-1180
Number of pages8
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Inhaled vasodilators
  • Lung transplantation
  • Nitric oxide
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Reperfusion injury
  • Selective pulmonary vasodilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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