Conventional inhaled NO systems deliver NO by synchronized injection or continuous NO flow in the ventilator circuitry. Such methods can lead to variable concentrations during inspiration that may differ from desired dosing. NO concentrations in these systems are generally monitored through electrochemical methods that are too slow to capture this nuance and potential dosing error. A novel technology that reduces NO2 into NO via low-resistance ascorbic-acid cartridges just prior to inhalation has recently been described. The gas volume of these cartridges may enhance gas mixing and reduce dosing inconsistency throughout inhalation. The impact of the ascorbic-acid cartridge technology on NO concentration during inspiration was characterized through rapid chemiluminescence detection during volume control ventilation, pressure control ventilation, synchronized intermittent mandatory ventilation and continuous positive airway pressure using an in vitro lung model configured to simulate the complete uptake of NO. Two ascorbic acid cartridges in series provided uniform and consistent dosing during inspiration during all modes of ventilation. The use of one cartridge showed variable inspiratory concentration of NO at the largest tidal volumes, whereas the use of no ascorbic acid cartridge led to highly inconsistent NO inspiratory waveforms. The use of ascorbic acid cartridges also decreased breath-to-breath variation in SIMV and CPAP ventilation. The ascorbic-acid cartridges, which are designed to convert NO2 (either as substrate or resulting from NO oxidation during injection) into NO, also provide the benefit of minimizing the variation of inhaled NO concentration during inspiration. It is expected that the implementation of this method will lead to more consistent and predictable dosing.
Keywords: Ascorbic acid; NO delivery; Nitric oxide; Nitrogen dioxide.
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