Several human studies have associated nitric oxide administration via the cardiopulmonary bypass circuit with decreased incidence of cardiopulmonary bypass–associated acute kidney injury, but histopathologic and serologic evidence of nitric oxide efficacy for acute kidney injury attenuation are lacking.
By using a survival ovine model (72 hours), acute kidney injury was induced by implementing low-flow cardiopulmonary bypass for 2 hours, followed by full-flow cardiopulmonary bypass for 2 hours. The nitric oxide cohort (n = 6) received exogenous nitric oxide through the cardiopulmonary bypass circuit via the oxygenator, and the control group (n = 5) received no nitric oxide. Serial serologic biomarkers and renal histopathology were obtained.
Baseline characteristics (age, weight) and intraoperative parameters (cardiopulmonary bypass time, urine output, heart rate, arterial pH, and lactate) were equivalent (P > .10) between groups. Postoperatively, urine output, heart rate, respiratory rate, and peripheral arterial saturation were equivalent (P > .10) between groups. Post–cardiopulmonary bypass creatinine elevations from baseline were significantly greater in the control group versus the nitric oxide group at 16, 24, and 48 hours (all P < .05). Histopathologic evidence of moderate/severe acute kidney injury (epithelial necrosis, tubular slough, cast formation, glomerular edema) occurred in 60% (3/5) of the control group versus 0% (0/6) of the nitric oxide group. Cortical tubular epithelial cilia lengthening (a sensitive sign of cellular injury) was significantly greater in the control group than in the nitric oxide group (P = .012).
In a survival ovine cardiopulmonary bypass model, nitric oxide administered with cardiopulmonary bypass demonstrated serologic and histologic evidence of renal protection from acute kidney injury. These results provide insight into 1 potential mechanism for cardiopulmonary bypass–associated acute kidney injury and supports continued study of nitric oxide via cardiopulmonary bypass circuit for prevention of acute kidney injury.