New AHRQ evidence report published on inhaled nitric oxide therapy for preterm infants

Research Activities, January 2011, No. 365

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released a new evidence report that found insufficient evidence to support giving inhaled nitric oxide therapy to preterm infants requiring mechanical ventilation to improve survival or to decrease pulmonary morbidity or neurodevelopmental impairment. Led by Marilee C. Allen and Pamela K. Donohue at the AHRQ Johns Hopkins University Evidence-based Practice Center, the team found a small reduction in the risk of the composite outcome of bronchopulmonary dysplasia or death for infants at 36 weeks postmenstrual age, who were treated with inhaled nitric oxide. They found insufficient data to determine if the therapy reduces the rate of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in preterm infants.

Researchers found insufficient evidence to determine if inhaled nitric oxide therapy impacts long-term health outcomes such as respiratory symptoms, rehospitalization after intensive care unit discharge, and growth. There was insufficient evidence that use of inhaled nitric oxide therapy influences the incidence of cognitive, motor, or sensory impairment or neurodevelopmental disability in preterm infants who require mechanical ventilation, though there was evidence that suggested that there may be a decrease in the use of respiratory medications at 1 year of age. There was insufficient evidence to determine if there was a differential effect based on birth weight, gender, race/ethnic group, gestational age, or severity of illness. Investigators noted that more research is needed to explore the possibility that inhaled nitric oxide may some day become a component of treatment strategy for some preterm infants receiving respiratory support. The results of this report, Inhaled Nitric Oxide in Preterm Infants, were presented at the National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference on October 27-29, 2010.

To view the report, go to Inhaled Nitric Oxide in Preterm Infants .

Current as of January 2011
Internet Citation: New AHRQ evidence report published on inhaled nitric oxide therapy for preterm infants: Research Activities, January 2011, No. 365. January 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/jan11/0111RA28.html