The Physiological Effects of Short-term Smoking Cessation in Claudicants

Dickinson, K. J.; Cockbain, A. J.; MacDonald, W.; Shah, M.; Homer-Vanniasinkam, S.
April 2009
Angiology;Apr/May2009, Vol. 60 Issue 2, p159
Academic Journal
Introduction: Smoking contributes to atherosclerosis and causes significant postoperative morbidity. New antismoking law forces short-term pre-operative abstinence. Demonstrable clinical benefit might motivate complete cessation. Our aim was to determine the effects of 24-hr smoking cessation on cardiorespiratory function and claudication distance. Methods: Smoking claudicants were randomized to 24hr smoking or abstinence. Following these separate periods, cardiopulmonary exercise testing was performed. Pre- and post-exercise, serum lactate and ankle brachial pressure index (ABPI) were measured. During exercise, cardiorespiratory function, initial and absolute claudication (IC,AC) distances and visual analogue scores (VAS) of pain were recorded. Results: 16 patients completed both tests. IC, AC and VAS were unchanged with abstinence (P = .43, .66, .96, .83). ABPI drop post-exercise was unchanged with abstinence (P = .08, .09). Cardiorespiratory function was not affected by smoking cessation. Conclusion: Cardiorespiratory function and claudication symptoms are unchanged following 24-hr smoking cessation., No deterioration in respiratory function is important when considering anaesthetic administration. However, lack of symptomatic improvement may discourage patients from abstaining. Further investigation should determine correlation between short-term abstinence and postoperative morbidity.


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