Inhibition of nitric oxide synthases, but not inducible nitric oxide synthase, selectively worsens left ventricular function after successful resuscitation from cardiac arrest in swine

Betsy B. Dokken, Mohamed A. Gaballa, Ronald W. Hilwig, Robert A. Berg, Karl B. Kern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives Nitric oxide (NO) is a critical regulator of vascular tone and signal transduction in the cardiovascular system. NO is synthesized by three unique enzymes (nitric oxide synthases [NOS]): endothelial and neuronal NOS, both constitutively expressed, and inducible NOS (iNOS), which is induced by proinflammatory stimuli and subsequently produces a burst of NO. NO has been implicated as both an injurious and a beneficial mediator after cardiac arrest and resuscitation. A previous study in swine found that iNOS expression is absent in the myocardium prior to cardiac arrest and that it increases after 10 minutes of untreated ventricular fibrillation (VF), decreases somewhat during the early postresuscitation period, and then steadily increases up to 6 hours postresuscitation. Because this time course of iNOS expression mirrors that of postresuscitation myocardial dysfunction, this study was designed to test the hypothesis that selective inhibition of iNOS improves postresuscitation outcomes in swine. Methods Thirty-two domestic swine of either sex were randomly assigned to receive one of the following treatments 15 minutes after return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC): 1) NG-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME), a global NO inhibitor; 2) aminoguanidine (AG), a selective iNOS inhibitor; or 3) saline as control. After 10 minutes of untreated VF, swine received a standard resuscitation protocol. Twenty-four-hour survival, neurological status, left ventricular (LV) function, and hemodynamic measurements were obtained. Results Return of spontaneous circulation occurred in 28 of 32 animals (88%). Only successfully resuscitated animals were assigned to treatment groups and completed the study. There were no differences in survival or neurological outcomes between groups. There were also no differences in LV function or hemodynamic variables found between the control group and the AG group. Global inhibition of NOS with l-NAME post-ROSC increased aortic pressure and transiently decreased pulse pressure. Treatment with l-NAME also increased LV end diastolic pressure and decreased cardiac output within 30 minutes post-ROSC, which was sustained throughout the 4-hour measurements, compared to both the control and the AG groups. In addition, LV ejection fraction recovered to baseline measurements in both the control and AG groups, but failed to recover in the l-NAME group. Conclusions Global inhibition of NOS after cardiac arrest and resuscitation markedly worsens hemodynamic variables. Selective inhibition of iNOS after cardiac arrest and resuscitation does not prevent postresuscitation myocardial stunning. There were no significant differences in neurological outcome or survival between treatment groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-203
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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