Role of Endothelium-Derived Nitric Oxide in Perinatal Pulmonary Vasoregulation

  • Steven H. Abman
  • David N. Cornfield
  • John P. Kinsella
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 251)


Recent advances in vascular biology have led to greater insight into the role of the endothelial cell in regulating vascular function and structure. Several potent vasoactive products, including endothelium-derived relaxing factor or nitric oxide (endothelium-derived nitric oxide; EDNO), prostacyclin, endothelin, and others, have been shown to contribute substantially to vascular tone and growth in many experimental and clinical settings.18,26,28,32 Although several studies have demonstrated the importance of endothelial products in the regulation of vascular tone in various adult circulations, relatively little is known about their functional role in the perinatal lung or maturation-related changes. Over the past several years, our laboratory and others have examined the potential role of endothelial-derived products, especially EDNO, in modulating vascular tone in the late-gestation fetal and transitional pulmonary circulations. These findings have in part contributed to recent clinical studies of inhaled NO in the treatment of newborns with severe hypoxemic respiratory failure and pulmonary hypertension, who have failed to achieve the normal decline in pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) at birth (Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn, PPHN). In the following chapter, we present a brief overview of data from our laboratory regarding the potential role of EDNO activity in the normal fetal and transitional pulmonary circulations, as well as data from our clinical experience in using inhaled NO in treating newborns with severe PPHN.


Nitric Oxide Pulmonary Blood Flow Pulmonary Vasodilation Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension Mean Pulmonary Artery Pressure 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven H. Abman
    • 1
  • David N. Cornfield
    • 1
  • John P. Kinsella
    • 2
  1. 1.Section of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine, Department of PediatricsUniversity of Colorado School of Medicine and The Children’s HospitalDenverUSA
  2. 2.Section of Neonatology, Department of PediatricsUniversity of Colorado School of Medicine and The Children’s HospitalDenverUSA

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