Pulmonary Vasodilator Therapy in the NICU: Inhaled Nitric Oxide, Sildenafil, and Other Pulmonary Vasodilating Agents

Porta, N. F.; Steinhorn, R. H.

Clin Perinatol. 2012 Feb 22; 39(1):149-64

Abstract

The perinatal transition from fetal to extrauterine life requires a dramatic change in the circulatory pattern as the organ of gas exchange switches from the placenta to the lungs. Pulmonary hypertension can occur during early newborn life, and present as early respiratory failure or as a complication of more chronic diseases, such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia. The most effective pharmacotherapeutic strategies for infants with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn are directed at selective reduction of pulmonary vascular resistance. This article discusses currently available therapies for pulmonary hypertension, their biologic rationales, and evidence for their clinical effectiveness.

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