Aerosolised prostacyclin in adult respiratory distress syndrome

Lancet. 1993 Oct 16;342(8877):961-2. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(93)92004-d.


We studied the effects of aerosolised prostacyclin (PGI2) in three patients with acute severe adult respiratory distress syndrome. 17-50 ng/kg per min, nebulised into the afferent limb of the ventilator circuit, decreased mean pulmonary artery pressure (SEM) from 40.3 (13.5) to 32.0 (3.8) mm Hg (pulmonary vascular resistance fell by 30%); systemic arterial pressure decreased slightly from 76.8 (2.2) to 74.5 (6.1) mm Hg. Concomitantly, the ratio of arterial oxygen partial pressure to the fraction of inspired oxygen increased from 120 (19) to 173 (18), mainly due to redistribution of blood flow from shunt areas to regions of normal ventilation-perfusion. All effects were reversed on drug withdrawal.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aerosols
  • Epoprostenol / administration & dosage*
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange / drug effects
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / drug therapy*


  • Aerosols
  • Epoprostenol