A Randomized Trial of Inhaled Nitric Oxide to Prevent Ischemia–Reperfusion Injury after Lung Transplantation
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Inhalation of nitric oxide (NO) has been advocated as a method to prevent ischemia-reperfusion injury after lung transplantation. We enrolled 84 patients into a concealed, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the effect of inhaled NO (20 ppm NO or nitrogen) initiated 10 minutes after reperfusion on outcomes after lung transplantation. The groups (n = 42) were balanced with respect to age, sex, lung disease, procedure, and total ischemic times. PaO2/FIO2 ratios were similar on admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) (NO 361 +/- 134; control patients 357 +/- 132), and over the duration of the study. There were no differences in hemodynamics between the two groups. Severe reperfusion injury (PaO2/FIO2 < 150) was present at the time of admission to the ICU in 14.6% NO patients versus 9.5% of control patients (p = 0.48). The groups had similar median times to first successful trial of unassisted breathing (25 vs. 27 hours; p = 0.76), successful extubation (32 vs. 34 hours; p = 0.65), ICU discharge (3.0 days for both groups), and hospital discharge (27 vs. 29 days; p = 0.563). Five NO versus six control patients died during their hospital stay. Adjusting for age, sex, lung disease etiology, presence of pulmonary hypertension, and total ischemic time did not alter these results. In conclusion, we did not detect a significant effect of inhaled NO administered 10 minutes after reperfusion on physiologic variables or outcomes in lung transplant patients.
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