JOURNAL ARTICLE

Nitrogen dioxide production during mechanical ventilation with nitric oxide in adults. Effects of ventilator internal volume, air versus nitrogen dilution, minute ventilation, and inspired oxygen fraction

M Nishimura, D Hess, R M Kacmarek, R Ritz, W E Hurford
Anesthesiology 1995, 82 (5): 1246-54
7741300

BACKGROUND: Inhaled nitric oxide (NO) may be useful in the treatment of adult respiratory distress syndrome and other diseases characterized by pulmonary hypertension and hypoxemia. NO is rapidly converted to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in oxygen (O2) environments. We hypothesized that in patients whose lungs are mechanically ventilated and in those with a long residence time for NO in the lungs, a clinically important [NO2] may be present. We therefore determined the rate constants for NO conversion in adult mechanical ventilators and in a test lung simulating prolonged intrapulmonary residence of NO.

METHODS: NO (800 ppm) was blended with nitrogen (N2), delivered to the high-pressure air inlet of a Puritan-Bennett 7200ae or Siemens Servo 900C ventilator, and used to ventilate a test lung. The ventilator settings were varied: minute ventilation (VE) from 5 to 25 l/min, inspired O2 fraction (FIO2) from 0.24 to 0.87, and [NO] from 10 to 80 ppm. The experiment was then repeated with air instead of N2 as the dilution gas. The effect of pulmonary residence time on NO2 production was examined at test lung volumes of 0.5-4.0 l, VE of 5-25 l/min, FIO2 of 0.24-0.87, and [NO] of 10-80 ppm. The inspiratory gas mixture was sampled 20 cm from the Y-piece and from within the test lung. NO and NO2 were measured by chemiluminescence. The rate constant (k) for the conversion of NO to NO2 was determined from the relation 1/[NO]t-1/[NO]o = k x [O2] x t, where t = residence time.

RESULTS: No NO2 was detected during any trial with VE 20 or 25 l/min. With N2 dilution and the Puritan-Bennett 7200ae, NO2 (< or = 1 ppm) was detected only at a VE of 5 l/min with an FIO2 of 0.87 and [NO] > or = 70 ppm. In contrast, [NO2] values were greater with the Servo 900C ventilator than with the Puritan-Bennett 7200ae at similar settings. When NO was diluted with air, clinically important [NO2] values were measured with both ventilators at high [NO] and FIO2. Rate constants were 1.46 x 10(-9) ppm-2.min-1 when NO was mixed with N2, 1.17 x 10(-8) ppm-2.min-1 when NO was blended with air, and 1.44 x 10(-9) ppm-2.min-1 in the test lung.

CONCLUSIONS: [NO2] increased with increased FIO2 and [NO], decreased VE, blending with air, and increased lung volumes. Higher [NO2] was produced with the Servo 900C ventilator than the Puritan-Bennett 7200ae because of the greater residence time. With long intrapulmonary residence times for NO, there is a potential for NO2 production within the lungs. The rate constants determined can be used to estimate [NO2] in adult mechanical ventilation systems.

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