Nitric oxide is a gas that helps relax the muscles in the walls of blood vessels. When the muscles become relaxed, the blood vessels open up, increasing oxygen and blood flow in the lungs and throughout the body.
A patient with pulmonary hypertension has tightened blood vessels in his or her lungs. It is anticipated that nitric oxide, when inhaled may help open blood vessels and reduce the pressure in the lungs, allowing more oxygen to be delivered to the body.
Inhaled nitric oxide is no longer active when it comes in contact with blood, thereby helping to decrease the effects it may have on other parts of the body.
Inhaled nitric oxide can react with oxygen to form the gas nitrogen dioxide. This gas can cause lung soreness and pain.
The INOpulse delivery system has safety features that are designed to help prevent nitrogen dioxide from forming.
Inhaled nitric oxide may be absorbed by the smooth muscles and may cause blood vessels to dilate or open.