Inhaled nitric oxide reduces pulmonary artery pressures in portopulmonary hypertension.

Department of Anesthesiology, Mayo Foundation, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.
Liver transplantation and surgery: official publication of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the International Liver Transplantation Society 10/1999; 5(5):381-7. DOI: 10.1002/lt.500050515
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Pulmonary artery hypertension in association with liver failure (portopulmonary hypertension [PPHTN]) is a significant barrier to liver transplantation because patients with this condition have a very high mortality when transplantation is undertaken. Inhaled nitric oxide (NO), a potent pulmonary vasodilator, reduces pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) in some patients with primary pulmonary hypertension, but its effect in patients with PPHTN is controversial. We investigated the hemodynamic effects of inhaled NO in 6 patients with PPHTN. Five of 6 patients responded to NO inhalation with decreases in PAP and pulmonary vascular resistance of greater than 10%; these decreases were statistically significant at NO concentrations of 10 and 30 ppm. Cardiac output did not significantly change. We conclude that inhalation of NO reduces PAPs in some patients with PPHTN.

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    ABSTRACT: The role of acute pulmonary vasodilator testing in portopulmonary hypertension (PoPH), a current contraindication for orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT), has not been thoroughly elucidated. The purpose of this work was to analyze the results of acute vasodilator testing with inhaled nitric oxide (NO), to compare them with intravenous epoprostenol (PGI(2)), and to investigate the acute effects of the oral vasodilator isosorbide-5-mononitrate (Is-5-MN), in patients with PoPH. A total of 19 patients with PoPH (male/female = 9/10) were studied. Pulmonary hemodynamic measurements were performed at baseline and during NO inhalation (40 ppm); additionally, 15 patients were tested with PGI(2) (2-12 mug/kg/minute) and 8 were tested with Is-5-MN (20-40 mg). Inhaled NO reduced pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) and pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) by 5.7% and 11.0%, respectively. PGI(2) elicited greater reductions in PAP (11.8%) and PVR (-24.0%), and produced a 28% drop in systemic vascular resistance (SVR) and a 17% increase in the cardiac index (CI). Is-5-MN reduced PAP by 25.6% and PVR by 21.5%, without systemic changes. There was good agreement between the response to PGI(2) and Is-5-MN: 6 patients of the whole series (32%) decreased PAP >20% from baseline, reaching a final value < or = 35 mmHg, the current limit for OLT. In conclusion, acute vasodilator testing has a relevant role in PoPH, as it identifies one-third of patients able to reach a more favorable hemodynamic situation, which can be determinant for their management. For vasodilator testing, PGI(2) is more suitable than NO in PoPH. Is-5-MN exerts a selective effect on pulmonary circulation in patients who had already responded to PGI(2).
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    ABSTRACT: In patients with hepatopulmonary syndrome, supplemental oxygen and liver transplantation are the usual treatments of choice. Pharmacologic approaches have limited success in improving hypoxemia. Interventional radiology procedures may improve arterial hypoxemia in highly selected patients. In patients with portopulmonary hypertension, continuous infusion with intravenous epoprostenol (prostaglandin I2) can significantly improve pulmonary hemodynamics. Outcome following liver transplantation is variable; increased cardiopulmonary mortality occurs in patients with moderate to severe pulmonary hypertension.
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