Carbon monoxide may limit vascular damage. (Biomedicine).Carbon monoxide carbon monoxide, chemical compound, CO, a colorless, odorless, tasteless, extremely poisonous gas that is less dense than air under ordinary conditions. It is very slightly soluble in water and burns in air with a characteristic blue flame, producing carbon dioxide; in small doses can prevent injury to blood vessels Blood vessels
Tubular channels for blood transport, of which there are three principal types: arteries, capillaries, and veins. Only the larger arteries and veins in the body bear distinct names. caused by surgery, a study of rats suggests.
Researchers gave carbon monoxide to rats before performing angioplasty, in which a balloon-tipped catheter is used to widen a clogged area in an artery. The procedure works well for people with partially blocked arteries, but many patients must undergo repeat angioplasty because the subtle injury caused by the balloon can lead to new blockages later.
Carbon monoxide is poisonous, but it's naturally released in low doses by cells of blood vessels in response to surgical procedures Surgical procedures have long and possibly daunting names. The meaning of many surgical procedure names can often be understood if the name is broken into parts. For example in splenectomy, "ectomy" is a suffix meaning the removal of a part of the body. "Splene-" means spleen. .
In the new study, rats that inhaled in·hale
v. in·haled, in·hal·ing, in·hales
1. To draw (air or smoke, for example) into the lungs by breathing; inspire.
2. carbon monoxide-laced air for 1 hour before angioplasty had much less subsequent artery blockage than did rats not receiving the gas, says study coauthor Augustine Choi, a pulmonologist pul·mo·nol·o·gist
A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory disorders. at the University of Pittsburgh.
Rats that underwent a vessel transplant also fared significantly better if given carbon monoxide before and after the surgery, the researchers report in the February Nature Medicine.
The researchers are currently testing the carbon monoxide therapy on pigs, whose responses to these procedures closely approximate those of people. --N.S.