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Exhaled Nitric Oxide in Pathophysiologic States : The Substance Behind the Gas

Greg Beilman
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Minneapolis, MN
 ,  Dr. Beilman is Associate Professor of Surgery and Anesthesia and Director of Surgical Critical Care, University of Minnesota.

Correspondence to: Greg J. Beilman, MD, FCCP, Director, Surgical Critical Care, MMC 11, 420 Delaware St SE, Minneapolis, MN, 55455; e-mail: beilm001@umn.edu



Chest. 2004;125(1):11-13. doi:10.1378/chest.125.1.11
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Nitric oxide (NO) is a readily diffusible, small molecule that has a huge variety of effects, both physiologic and pathophysiologic. The field of research into NO is exceedingly large, with > 56,000 references regarding this molecule in the medical literature. NO is produced by several different isoforms of NO synthase (NOS). These isoforms include both enzymes that produce NO in a constitutive fashion (endothelial NOS [eNOS] and neuronal NOS), and those that produce NO in response to a stimulus (inducible NOS [iNOS]). NO has a variety of physiologic roles, including vasodilation and control of cellular respiration.12

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