1. Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN

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[down double arrow] Nitric oxide use in preemies. Reports of two studies recently published in the July 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine on the effects of inhaled nitric oxide in premature infants with respiratory failure are causing a bit of confusion. In one, by researchers who had previously shown reduced rates of death and bronchopulmonary dysplasia with nitric oxide use, infants so treated showed improvements over control subjects in neurodevelopmental outcomes at two years. In the second, premature infants with respiratory failure who received nitric oxide didn't fare any better than those who received only surfactant, and mortality rates in both groups were nearly identical. An accompanying editorial points out that the infants in the second study were smaller, younger, and sicker than those in the first and concludes that the use of inhaled nitric oxide should not be considered in "very preterm infants with profound respiratory failure" but that "less ill preterm infants may benefit from this therapy, both in the short term and over the long term."