The effects of short-term passive smoke exposure on endothelium-dependent and independent vasodilation

Masahiko Kato, Philip Roberts-Thomson, Bradley G. Phillips, Krzysztof Narkiewicz, William G. Haynes, Catherine A. Pesek, Virend K. Somers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objective. There is limited information on the mechanisms mediating the deleterious effects of passive smoke exposure. Cross-sectional studies indicate that nonsmokers exposed chronically to passive smoke have impaired endothelium mediated vasodilation. We tested the hypothesis that acute exposure to sidestream (passive) smoke impairs endothelium-dependent vasodilation in healthy nonsmokers. Methods and results. We studied 12 healthy nonsmokers (aged 27 ± 5 years, nine men and three women). We obtained measurements of blood pressure, heart rate, and bilateral forearm blood flow (FBF). Each individual was studied twice, following a randomized, placebo-controlled design. The effects of passive smoke were studied on one day and the effects of vehicle (room air) on a separate day. Acetylcholine (ACh) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) were infused into the left brachial artery before and after 15 min of exposure to either passive smoke (carbon monoxide concentration between 20 and 40 p.p.m.) or vehicle (room air). The order of ACh and SNP, and smoke or vehicle, was randomized between individuals. Smoke exposure increased carboxyhemoglobin from 0.5 ± 0.1% to 0.8 ± 0.1% (P = 0.002). Neither passive smoke nor vehicle changed baseline measurements of heart rate, blood pressure and forearm vascular resistance (FVR). The vasodilatory responses to ACh and SNP were very similar, both before and after exposure to passive smoke and before and after vehicle. Conclusion. Our data demonstrate that acute exposure to passive smoke does not alter either endothelium-dependent or independent vasodilatory responses in healthy nonsmoking individuals. Hence, impaired endothelial vasodilatory responses in nonsmokers chronically exposed to passive smoke most likely reflect chronic functional and/or structural changes in responses to cigarette smoke, rather than the acute effects of cigarette smoke toxicity on endothelial function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1395-1401
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of hypertension
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1999


  • Carboxyhemoglobin
  • Endothelial function
  • Forearm vascular resistance
  • Nicotine
  • Passive smoke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of short-term passive smoke exposure on endothelium-dependent and independent vasodilation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this