OBJECTIVE To determine the impact of mechanical ventilation (MV) and perfusion conditions on the efficacy of pulse-delivered inhaled nitric oxide (PiNO) in anesthetized horses.
ANIMALS 27 healthy adult horses.
PROCEDURES Anesthetized horses were allocated into 4 groups: spontaneous breathing (SB) with low (< 70 mm Hg) mean arterial blood pressure (MAP; group SB-L; n = 7), SB with physiologically normal (≥ 70 mm Hg) MAP (group SB-N; 8), MV with low MAP (group MV-L; 6), and MV with physiologically normal MAP (group MV-N; 6). Dobutamine was used to maintain MAP > 70 mm Hg. Data were collected after a 60-minute equilibration period and at 15 and 30 minutes during PiNO administration. Variables included Pao2, arterial oxygen saturation and content, oxygen delivery, and physiologic dead space-to-tidal volume ratio. Data were analyzed with Shapiro-Wilk, Mann-Whitney U, and Friedman ANOVA tests.
RESULTS Pao2, arterial oxygen saturation, arterial oxygen content, and oxygen delivery increased significantly with PiNO in the SB-L, SB-N, and MV-N groups; were significantly lower in group MV-L than in group MV-N; and were lower in MV-N than in both SB groups during PiNO. Physiologic dead space-to-tidal volume ratio was highest in the MV-L group.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Pulmonary perfusion impacted PiNO efficacy during MV but not during SB. Use of PiNO failed to increase oxygenation in the MV-L group, likely because of profound ventilation-perfusion mismatching. During SB, PiNO improved oxygenation irrespective of the magnitude of blood flow, but hypoventilation and hypercarbia persisted. Use of PiNO was most effective in horses with adequate perfusion.