Inhaled nitric oxide reveals and attenuates endothelial dysfunction after lung transplantation

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BACKGROUND: Maintaining endothelial function within transplanted organs may be critical to successful preservation. In this study we have evaluated the relationship between the effect of inhalation of nitric oxide and the degree of endothelial dysfunction after lung transplantation. METHODS: A left lung, which had been preserved for 24 hours, was transplanted and a right pneumonectomy was performed in 5 pigs. After a 24-hour observation period the pigs inhaled 5, 20, and 80 ppm nitric oxide, and pulmonary vascular resistance was recorded continuously. From the same donors preserved pulmonary arteries from the contralateral lung were studied simultaneously in organ baths. Acetylcholine chloride was used to elicit endothelium-dependent relaxation in vessel segments contracted with the thromboxane A2 analogue U-46619. RESULTS: Maximal endothelium-dependent relaxation decreased in the preserved lungs and correlated to the pulmonary vascular resistance in the simultaneously transplanted lungs. Inhalation of nitric oxide in the pigs that had received transplants caused the pulmonary vessels to dilate in proportion to the endothelial dysfunction. CONCLUSIONS: Preservation of lung for transplantation induces an endothelial dysfunction, and the degree of the decrease in pulmonary vascular resistance caused by nitric oxide inhalation may be an indication of the degree of this endothelial damage. The vasodilation caused by inhaled nitric oxide increases as the endothelial function deteriorates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1639-1643
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1996

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Surgery
  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


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