- •Whether smoking impairs endothelium-independent vasodilatation is doubtful.
- •Previous studies used high doses of nitrates to assess nitrate-mediated dilation (NMD).
- •An early impairment of NMD in smokers was shown by low doses of nitroglycerin (NTG).
- •A dose of 30 μg of NTG seems the most useful to identify impaired NMD.
Smoking induces an impairment of endothelium-dependent vasodilatation. In this study we assessed whether smoking also causes an impairment of endothelium-independent vasodilatation.
We studied 2 groups of young healthy subjects: 1) 12 medical students (24.5 ± 0.9 years; 6 male) without cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs), except smoking (≥10 cigarettes/day); 2) 12 matched controls (24.5 ± 1.1 years; 6 male) without any CVRF. Nitrate-mediated dilatation (NMD) of the brachial artery was assessed in response to the random administration of 4 different doses (10, 20, 30 and 40 μg) of sublingual nitroglycerin (NTG). Flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) was also assessed.
The increasing doses of NTG determined a progressive increase of NMD in both groups, but the dose–response curve was significantly lower in smokers compared to controls (p < 0.001). FMD was also lower in smokers, compared to controls (6.12 + 0.6 vs. 8.06 + 0.9%, p < 0.001).
Our data show that smoking induces an early impairment of endothelium-independent arterial dilatation.
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Published online: March 31, 2015
Accepted: March 28, 2015
Received in revised form: March 25, 2015
Received: February 2, 2015
© 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.