Therapeutic approaches using nitric oxide in infants and children

Steinhorn, R. H.

Free Radic Biol Med. 2011 Jan 18; 51(5):1027-34

Abstract

Pulmonary hypertension contributes significantly to the morbidity and mortality associated with many pediatric pulmonary and cardiac diseases. Nitric oxide, a gas molecule, is a unique pharmaceutical agent that can be inhaled and thus delivered directly to the lung. Inhaled nitric oxide was approved by the FDA in 1999 as a therapy for infants with persistent pulmonary hypertension. Since then, the use of inhaled nitric oxide has expanded to other neonatal and pediatric conditions, and our knowledge of its properties and mechanisms of action has increased tremendously. This review discusses the physiology of nitric oxide signaling, the most common indications for its clinical use, and promising new investigations that may enhance endogenous production of nitric oxide and/or improve vascular response to it.

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