Recently it has been shown that inhaled nitric oxide (NO), which has been proven to contribute to improvement in critical pulmonary hypertension, may provide a favorable effect early after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support. To improve right ventricular function, inhalation of NO was added to treatment with conventional catecholamines for four consecutive dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) patients following institution of LVAD. In two patients 1 hr after inhalation of NO, central venous pressure (CVP), mean pulmonary arterial pressure (PAm), and pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) were improved. These results led to better LVAD output and resulted in an adequate cardiac index. On the other hand, a right VAD (RVAD) was implemented in one patient whose high CVP, PAm, and PVR continued; he was weaned after 8 days of RVAD support. Another patient who had a high CVP but normal PAm and PVR before and after inhalation of NO had no improvement in his hemodynamic state. These data suggest that inhaled NO may improve systemic circulation by reducing right ventricular afterload and may become a promising and convenient therapy before placing RVAD in DCM patients under LVAD support. RVAD should be conducted in patients with right ventricular failure or when pulmonary hypertension is associated with impaired right ventricular reserve, even after inhalation of NO. ASAIO Journal 1997;43:M418-M421.
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