Association between inhaled nitric oxide treatment and long-term pulmonary function in survivors of acute respiratory distress syndrome

R. Phillip Dellinger, Stephen W. Trzeciak, Gerard J. Criner, Janice L. Zimmerman, Robert W. Taylor, Helen Usansky, Joseph Young, Brahm Goldstein

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31 Scopus citations


Introduction: Assessment of treatments for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has focused on short-term outcomes (for example, mortality); little information exists regarding long-term effects of ARDS treatment. Survivors of ARDS episodes may have long-term obstructive/restrictive pulmonary abnormalities and pulmonary gas exchange impairment. A 2004 prospective randomized placebo-controlled trial assessed the efficacy and safety of inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) in patients with non-septic ARDS; the primary endpoint was days alive and off assisted breathing. This analysis examined potential effects of iNO or placebo on pulmonary function six months post-treatment in ARDS survivors from that original study.Methods: ARDS survivors (N = 92) from a large-scale randomized, placebo-controlled study evaluating mortality after either 5 ppm iNO or placebo for up to 28 days were assessed six months post-treatment. Pulmonary function testing across seven parameters was conducted.Results: At 6 months post-treatment, results indicated significantly better absolute values for iNO versus placebo for mean ± SD total lung capacity (TLC, 5.54 ± 1.42 vs. 4.81 ± 1.00; P = 0.026). There were also significantly better values for mean ± SD percent predicted values for a) forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV 1, 80.23 ± 21.21 vs. 69.51 ± 28.97; P = 0.042), b) forced vital capacity (FVC, 83.78 ± 19.37 vs. 69.84 ± 27.40; P = 0.019), c) FEV 1/FVC (96.14 ± 13.79 vs. 87.92 ± 19.77; P = 0.033), and d) TLC (93.33 ± 18.21 vs. 76.10 ± 21.84; P < 0.001). Nonsignificant differences were found in absolute FEV1, FEV1/FVC, FVC, forced expiratory flow from 25% to 75% of FVC, functional residual capacity, and CO diffusion.Conclusions: ARDS patients surviving after treatment with low-dose iNO had significantly better values for select pulmonary function tests at six months post-treatment than placebo-treated patients. Further trials are warranted to determine the effects of iNO on chronic lung function in ARDS survivors, a factor in long-term morbidity and quality of life in this population.Trial Registration: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled, Dose-response Study of Inhaled Nitric Oxide in the Treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. NCT number: ISRCTN53268296.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberR36
JournalCritical Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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