• nitric oxide;
  • nitrate/nitrite concentration;
  • critical illness;
  • intensive care unit


Alterations in nitric oxide (NO)production may play a role in critical illness. Total serum nitrate/nitrite concentrations [SNN (uM/L)], the stable metabolites of NO, have been used as an indirect measure of NO in people, with increased concentrations reported in cases of critical illness. The relationship of nitric oxide (NO) to criticalillness in dgos is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that critically ill intensive care unit (ICU) canine illness in dogs is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that critically ill intesive care unit (ICU) canine patients would have increased SNN as compared to healthy dogs and non-critically ill dogs. An organ failure index score (OFI) was assigned to dogs admitted to the ICU to evaluate trends between disease severtiy and SNN. Critically ill dogs had significantly (p < 0.05) higher SNN (median 10.53) as compared to non-critically ill dogs (median 2.3) and healthy dogs (median 1.92). Critically ill dogs with the most severe disease (as based on OFI) had higher SNN concentrations. Survival of critically ill dogs with SNN of > 15 upon ICU admission (12% survival) was significantly less than survival of critically ill dogs with SNN ≤ 15 (91%) survival).l (Vet. Emerg. & Crit. Care, 9: 195–202, 1999)