Article

The beneficial effects of inhaled nitric oxide in patients with severe traumatic brain injury complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome: a hypothesis.

Department of Anesthesiology, University of Toledo, College of Medicine, 3000 Arlington Avenue, Toledo, Ohio 43614, USA. .
Journal of Trauma Management & Outcomes 02/2008; 2(1):1. DOI: 10.1186/1752-2897-2-1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: The Iraq war has vividly brought the problem of traumatic brain injury to the foreground. The costs of death and morbidity in lost wages, lost taxes, and rehabilitative costs, let alone the emotional costs, are enormous. Military personnel with traumatic brain injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome may represent a substantial problem. Each of these entities, in and of itself, may cause a massive inflammatory response. Both presenting in one patient can precipitate an overwhelming physiological scenario. Inhaled nitric oxide has recently been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory effects beyond the pulmonary system, in addition to its ability to improve arterial oxygenation. Furthermore, it is virtually without side effects, and can easily be applied to combat casualties or to civilian casualties. PRESENTATION OF HYPOTHESIS: Use of inhaled nitric oxide in patients with severe traumatic brain injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome will show a benefit through improved physiological parameters, a decrease in biochemical markers of inflammation and brain injury, thus leading to better outcomes. TESTING OF HYPOTHESIS: A prospective, randomized, non-blinded clinical trial may be performed in which patients meeting the case definition could be entered into the study. The hypothesis may be confirmed by: (1) demonstrating an improvement in physiologic parameters, intracranial pressure, and brain oxygenation with inhaled nitric oxide use in severely head injured patients, and (2) demonstrating a decrease in biochemical serum markers in such patients; specifically, glial fibrillary acidic protein, inflammatory cytokines, and biomarkers of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and (3) documentation of outcomes. IMPLICATIONS OF HYPOTHESIS: Inhaled nitric oxide therapy in traumatic brain injury patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome could result in increased numbers of lives saved, decreased patient morbidity, decreased hospital costs, decreased insurance carrier and government rehabilitation costs, increased tax revenue secondary to occupational rehabilitation, and families could still have their loved ones among them.

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Oct 17, 2014