Successful treatment of pulmonary hypertension with inhaled nitric oxide after pulmonary embolectomy

Ann Thorac Surg. 2002 Apr;73(4):1299-301. doi: 10.1016/s0003-4975(01)03265-9.


Inhaled nitric oxide is an agent known to reduce pulmonary vascular resistance and prevent right heart failure. Pulmonary embolism is frequently followed by right heart failure and cardiogenic shock. Although successful treatment of patients with right ventricular failure caused by pulmonary embolism has been reported, clinical use of inhaled nitric oxide as an adjunct to surgical treatment is not in widespread use. We present a case of a 69-year-old woman with massive pulmonary embolism followed by right ventricular failure. After emergency operation, weaning from ventilation was prolonged. Pulmonary hypertension was decreased with low-dose inhaled nitric oxide, although pulmonary gas exchange did not improve. The patient was weaned successfully from ventilation 52 hours after operation and recovered completely. In a follow-up examination after 9 months, the patient is in healthy constitution with good cardiopulmonary function.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / etiology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Nitric Oxide / administration & dosage*
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Pulmonary Circulation
  • Pulmonary Embolism / surgery*
  • Thrombectomy
  • Vascular Resistance
  • Vasodilator Agents / administration & dosage*


  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Nitric Oxide