Characterization of Inhaled Nitric Oxide Use for Cardiac Indications in Pediatric Patients∗

Andrew R. Yates, John T. Berger, Ron W. Reeder, Russell Banks, Peter M. Mourani, Robert A. Berg, Joseph A. Carcillo, Todd Carpenter, Mark W. Hall, Kathleen L. Meert, Patrick S. McQuillen, Murray M. Pollack, Anil Sapru, Daniel A. Notterman, Richard Holubkov, J. Michael Dean, David L. Wessel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: Characterize the use of inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) for pediatric cardiac patients and assess the relationship between patient characteristics before iNO initiation and outcomes following cardiac surgery. DESIGN: Observational cohort study. SETTING: PICU and cardiac ICUs in seven Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network hospitals. PATIENTS: Consecutive patients, less than 18 years old, mechanically ventilated before or within 24 hours of iNO initiation. iNO was started for a cardiac indication and excluded newborns with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, meconium aspiration syndrome, and persistent pulmonary hypertension, or when iNO started at an outside institution. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Four-hundred seven patients with iNO initiation based on cardiac dysfunction. Cardiac dysfunction patients were administered iNO for a median of 4 days (2-7 d). There was significant morbidity with 51 of 407 (13%) requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and 27 of 407 (7%) requiring renal replacement therapy after iNO initiation, and a 28-day mortality of 46 of 407 (11%). Of the 366 (90%) survivors, 64 of 366 patients (17%) had new morbidity as assessed by Functional Status Scale. Among the postoperative cardiac surgical group (n = 301), 37 of 301 (12%) had a superior cavopulmonary connection and nine of 301 (3%) had a Fontan procedure. Based on echocardiographic variables prior to iNO (n = 160) in the postoperative surgical group, right ventricle dysfunction was associated with 28-day and hospital mortalities (both, p < 0.001) and ventilator-free days (p = 0.003); tricuspid valve regurgitation was only associated with ventilator-free days (p < 0.001), whereas pulmonary hypertension was not associated with mortality or ventilator-free days. CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric patients in whom iNO was initiated for a cardiac indication had a high mortality rate and significant morbidity. Right ventricular dysfunction, but not the presence of pulmonary hypertension on echocardiogram, was associated with ventilator-free days and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-254
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Critical Care Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


  • congenital heart disease
  • morbidity
  • nitric oxide
  • pediatrics
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • right ventricular failure


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