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Ann Intensive Care ; 10(1): 151, 2020 Nov 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-992558


BACKGROUND: In COVID-19 patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the relatively preserved respiratory system compliance despite severe hypoxemia, with specific pulmonary vascular dysfunction, suggests a possible hemodynamic mechanism for VA/Q mismatch, as hypoxic vasoconstriction alteration. This study aimed to evaluate the capacity of inhaled nitric oxide (iNO)-almitrine combination to restore oxygenation in severe COVID-19 ARDS (C-ARDS) patients. METHODS: We conducted a monocentric preliminary pilot study in intubated patients with severe C-ARDS. Respiratory mechanics was assessed after a prone session. Then, patients received iNO (10 ppm) alone and in association with almitrine (10 µg/kg/min) during 30 min in each step. Echocardiographic and blood gases measurements were performed at baseline, during iNO alone, and iNO-almitrine combination. The primary endpoint was the variation of oxygenation (PaO2/FiO2 ratio). RESULTS: Ten severe C-ARDS patients were assessed (7 males and 3 females), with a median age of 60 [52-72] years. Combination of iNO and almitrine outperformed iNO alone for oxygenation improvement. The median of PaO2/FiO2 ratio varied from 102 [89-134] mmHg at baseline, to 124 [108-146] mmHg after iNO (p = 0.13) and 180 [132-206] mmHg after iNO and almitrine (p < 0.01). We found no correlation between the increase in oxygenation caused by iNO-almitrine combination and that caused by proning. CONCLUSION: In this pilot study of severe C-ARDS patients, iNO-almitrine combination was associated with rapid and significant improvement of oxygenation. These findings highlight the role of pulmonary vascular function in COVID-19 pathophysiology.