Inhaled nitric oxide (NO) has the capacity to selectively dilate pulmonary blood vessels, and thus enhance the matching of ventilation and perfusion, improve oxygenation and decrease pulmonary hypertension. However, existing approaches for the administration of inhaled NO are associated with the co-delivery of potentially toxic concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) due to the oxidation of NO in oxygen rich environments. We tested the ability of a novel methodology for generating highly purified NO through the reduction of NO2 by ascorbic acid to reverse pulmonary hypertension. In vitro testing demonstrated that the NO output of the novel device is ultrapure and free of NO2. An in vivo hypoxemic swine model of pulmonary hypertension was used to examine the dose response to NO in terms of pulmonary pressures and pulmonary vascular resistance. Pulmonary hypertension was induced by lowering inspired oxygen to 15% prior to treatment with inhaled ultra purified NO (1, 5, 20, and 80PPM). Hypoxemia increased mean pulmonary artery pressures and pulmonary vascular resistance. Inhaled ultra purified NO doses (down to 1PPM) show a marked reduction of hypoxemia-induced pulmonary vascular resistance. These experiments demonstrate a simple and robust method to generate purified inhaled NO that is devoid of NO2 and capable of reversing hypoxemia induced pulmonary hypertension.
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