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Journal of Transplantation
Volume 2012, Article ID 819382, 8 pages
Review Article

Medical Gases: A Novel Strategy for Attenuating Ischemia—Reperfusion Injury in Organ Transplantation?

1Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10700, Thailand
2Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

Received 15 September 2011; Revised 2 January 2012; Accepted 23 January 2012

Academic Editor: Wojciech Rowiński

Copyright © 2012 Arunotai Siriussawakul et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) is an inevitable clinical consequence in organ transplantation. It can lead to early graft nonfunction and contribute to acute and chronic graft rejection. Advanced molecular biology has revealed the highly complex nature of this phenomenon and few definitive therapies exist. This paper reviews factors involved in the pathophysiology of IRI and potential ways to attenuate it. In recent years, inhaled nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen sulfide have been increasingly explored as plausible novel medical gases that can attenuate IRI via multiple mechanisms, including microvascular vasorelaxation, reduced inflammation, and mitochondrial modulation. Here, we review recent advances in research utilizing inhaled nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen sulfide in animal and human studies of IRI and postulate on its future applications specific to solid organ transplantation.