Study finds carbon monoxide has therapeutic benefits

Exposing rats to low levels of carbon monoxide (CO) prior to aorta transplantation prevents arteriosclerosis associated with chronic organ rejection and can also suppress stenosis after balloon-angioplasty-induced carotid artery injury, according to a study published in the Feb. 1 edition of Nature Medicine. The article is published online today.
“These findings demonstrate a significant protective role for CO in vascular injury and support its use as a therapeutic agent,” according to study author Leo Otterbein, Ph.D., research assistant professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, division of pulmonary and critical care medicine.

Army team testing ‘breathing’ catheter; bypasses lungs to supply oxygen

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are partnering with U.S. Army scientists to evaluate the merit of the experimental Hattler Respiratory Catheter for use in battlefield medicine ? particularly as a possible treatment for lung injuries sustained in biochemical attacks. Made up in part of a tightly bound fabric of microporous polypropylene hollow-fiber membranes, the catheter is inserted temporarily through a vein into the leg or neck and threaded into a major vein near the heart called the vena cava. Early tests show that it can substitute 40 percent to 60 percent of a patient?s compromised lung function.

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