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International Angiology 2006 September;25(3):293-6


lingua: Inglese

Smokers have severely disturbed peripheral microcirculation

Midttun M. 1, Sejrsen P. 2, Paaske W. P. 3

1 Department of Geriatrics, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark 2 Department of Medical Physiology, University of Copenhagen, The Panum Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark 3 Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark


Aim. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of smoking a single cigarette on the blood flow rates in capillaries and arteriovenous anastomoses (AVAs) in light and heavy smokers in: a) the skin fold between the first and second fingers, and b) the pulp of the thumb.
Methods. Five light (10-12 cigarettes/day) and 5 heavy (>20 cigarettes/day) chronic smokers participated (4 men and 6 women, median age 40.5 years). The blood flow rates were measured by the 133Xenon local washout method (capillaries, skin fold) and the heat washout method (AVAs, thumb pulp), respectively, before, during, and after smoking of a single Prince cigarette (0.9 mg nicotine).
Results. The blood flow rate (f) in mL(100 g(min)-1 [standard error, SE] in skin capillaries of light smokers was 24.4 [9], 8.9 [1.8], and 10.4 [3.3] before, during, and after smoking of one cigarette; in heavy smokers, f was 23.6 [10.9], 16.1 [5.3], and 7.1 [2.9]; f in pulp AVAs of light smokers was 130.6 [14.9], 49.2 [24.8], and 119.7 [20.9] before, during, and after smoking; in heavy smokers, the corresponding results were 134.4 [19.1], 136.2 [13.5], and 143 [15.3]. Thus, the blood flow rate in capillaries of both light and heavy smokers was higher before smoking the test cigarette than previously observed in non-smokers. In light smokers blood flow rate in AVAs decreased during smoking with a factor of 2.6, and it returned to the pre-smoking level immediately after the end of smoking the cigarette. In heavy smokers, f remained unchanged before, during, and after smoking.
Conclusion. Smokers have severely disturbed peripheral microcirculation.

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