Inhaled nitric oxide as salvage therapy in massive pulmonary embolism: a case series

Respir Care. 2012 Mar;57(3):444-8. doi: 10.4187/respcare.01373. Epub 2011 Oct 12.


Inhaled nitric oxide (INO) has been shown to preferentially lower resistance in the pulmonary vasculature. The relative selectiveness of INO in accomplishing this effect makes it an attractive drug to administer as salvage therapy in patients with acute right ventricular failure secondary to pulmonary embolism. We describe 4 cases in which INO was used as a temporizing agent to decrease right ventricular after-load following massive near-fatal pulmonary embolism. All 4 patients survived to hospital discharge.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bronchodilator Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Contraindications
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitric Oxide / administration & dosage*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / complications*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / therapy
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange / drug effects
  • Salvage Therapy
  • Thrombolytic Therapy
  • Ventricular Function, Right / drug effects


  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Nitric Oxide