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Relation between plasma nitrate and mean pulmonary arterial pressure in ventricular septal defect
  1. J Takaya,
  2. M Teraguchi,
  3. S Nogi,
  4. Y Ikemoto,
  5. Y Kobayashi
  1. Department of Paediatrics, Kansai Medical University, Fumizonocho 10–15, Moriguchi, Osaka 570–8506, Japan
  1. Dr Kobayashi.


BACKGROUND Nitric oxide (NO) is known to modulate myocardial contraction and coronary tone, and its inhalation reduces pulmonary vascular resistance in patients with pulmonary hypertension.

OBJECTIVES To evaluate the pathophysiological role of NO in patients with a ventricular septal defect (VSD).

PATIENTS Twenty nine children with VSD, nine of whom had undergone VSD closure surgery, and 14 patients with Kawasaki disease. The mean age of the VSD patients was 3.1 years (range, 2 months to 9 years).

METHODS Using high performance liquid chromatography, nitrate (a more stable NO oxidation product) was measured in plasma specimens of the patients undergoing cardiac catheterisation.

RESULTS Nitrate concentrations in the pulmonary artery bore a significant relation to mean pulmonary artery pressure, pulmonary to systemic systolic pressure ratio, and pulmonary to systemic flow ratio.

CONCLUSIONS The concentration of nitrate was in proportion to the increment in intravascular or cardiac pressure, indicating that endogenous NO is upregulated as a compensatory homeostatic attempt to reduce pulmonary pressure and blood flow.

  • The concentration of nitrate in the pulmonary artery of VSD patients bears a significant relation to both the ratio of pulmonary to systemic systolic pressure (Pp/Ps) and the ratio of pulmonary to systemic flow (Qp/Qs)

  • The concentration of nitrate in the pulmonary artery is reduced dramatically after surgery

  • Plasma nitrate might be a good marker of intravascular pressure and pulmonary blood flow

  • nitrate
  • nitric oxide
  • ventricular septal defect

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