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Inhaled nitric oxide therapy does not reduce death risk of infants

Premature infants with lung problem are often treated with inhaled nitric oxide// therapy. A recent study had brought out the fact that this therapy does not reduce the chances of death or further lung infections.

Researchers for the study are of opinion that premature babies who weigh less than 1.5kgs need not be given inhaled nitric oxide therapy unless they are the part of a study. Inhaled nitric oxide therapy is effective for treating lung infections in babies who are born after a full term pregnancy. This treatment makes the blood vessels in the body more effective in absorbing the oxygen for the metabolism.

Researchers who had conducted the study on 420 pre-term infants with lung infection found that there does not exist any significant difference between those infants who had received the therapy and those who were given a placebo. 60 % of the infants in the first group and 68% of infants in the placebo group had developed the serious lung infection of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. The death rate was also high in both groups, with 52% of the infants with inhaled nitric oxide and 48% of the infants with placebo failing to survive.

Reference: National Institutes of Health, Press release, July 2005

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