Audit of early experience with inhaled nitric oxide in New Zealand neonatal intensive care units.N Z Med J. 1998 Dec 11; 111(1079):474-7.NZ
To audit the use of inhaled nitric oxide for the treatment of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn in New Zealand neonatal intensive care units.
Prospective data collection on all infants treated with inhaled nitric oxide in neonatal intensive care units in the 20-month period from first use to December 1995. Data included perinatal factors, principal diagnosis, echocardiogram results, ventilation details and response to nitric oxide, adverse reactions and outcome.
Twenty-eight infants received nitric oxide in three centres, all bar one being 36 weeks or more gestation. Overall survival was 68%. Thirteen infants (46%) responded to nitric oxide treatment, 12 (92%) surviving. Seven (47%) of non-responders survived. Infants with primary pulmonary hypertension or meconium aspiration syndrome had 90% survival and more often responded to nitric oxide than infants with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (40% survival) or pulmonary hypoplasia (no survivors). No serious complications of treatment were recorded.
Inhalational nitric oxide was not universally successful treatment for pulmonary hypertension of the newborn but was likely to have been life-saving in a proportion of cases. Future studies may allow better case selection. Ongoing audit of this new treatment is warranted.