Nitric (correction of nitrous) oxide (NO) plays a fundamental part in the haemostatic equilibrium between the endothelium and platelets, an equilibrium of established clinical importance in cardiovascular disease. NO stimulates the enzyme guanylate cyclase which is responsible for synthesis of GMPc, the increase of which results in platelet inhibition. Synthesis of NO may have endogenous auto or paracrine origine from platelets or endothelial cells and participates in the local regulation of platelet function in association with other products of endothelial or platelet synthesis. Exogenous administration is common in therapeutics either in molecules which release NO (nitrate derivatives, sodium nitropruside, molsidomine, etc) or by NO gas administered by inhalation. The antiplatelet effect of NO has been clearly demonstrated in vitro, in vivo or ex vivo, in animals and humans, and probably explains, at least partially, the efficacy of nitrate derivatives in ischaemic coronary artery disease. Nevertheless, the platelet inhibition observed with intravenous NO releasing drugs is associated with potentially harmful systemic hypotension. Platelet inhibition by inhalation of NO could be an alternative means of avoiding this unwanted effect.