Few studies have measured endogenous nitric oxide exhaled from the respiratory system of newborn infants. We measured exhaled nitric oxide (eNO) in the first 48 h of life in 24 (13 preterm, 11 term) spontaneously breathing (online method) newborns using a chemoluminescence analyzer. There was a significant difference in the eNO concentration between term and preterm healthy infants in the first 2 days of life (repeated measures analysis of variance, p < 0.05). In term infants there is a peak eNO production in the first hours of life, suggesting a potential role in postnatal adaptation, while in preterm infants eNO production is almost absent at birth, and then gradually increases. Copyright (copyright) 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel.
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