The effect of transdermal nicotine on digital perfusion in reformed habitual smokers

S M Fulcher, L A Koman, B P Smith, M Holden, T L Smith
Journal of Hand Surgery 1998, 23 (5): 792-9
The effects of transdermal nicotine-assisted smoking cessation on digital perfusion and health-related quality of life were assessed in 10 chronic smokers. Components of digital blood flow were evaluated by digital temperature and laser Doppler fluxmetry before, during, and after a standardized cold challenge. Nutritional flow was measured by vital capillaroscopy; a quantitative perfusion profile was obtained by laser Doppler perfusion imaging. A battery of validated measures were used to evaluate health-related quality of life. The microvascular response of smokers was evaluated before smoking cessation and at 2 and 7 days after smoking cessation and was compared with the response of nonsmoking controls. Results demonstrated that a (1) cutaneous microvascular perfusion was lower in smokers than nonsmokers, (2) the acute administration of transdermal nicotine did not decrease cutaneous perfusion, (3) smoking cessation and transdermal nicotine normalized digital microvascular perfusion by 7 days, and (4) transdermal nicotine and smoking cessation did not negatively impact health-related quality of life.

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