Blood Flow in the Human Calf during Tobacco Smoking
Blood flow in the human calf during cigarette smoking was measured by two methods. One technic, the disappearance rate of a radioisotope injected into a muscle, was used to indicate muscle capillary blood flow, while the other method, plethysmography, was used to measure the total blood flow of the calf including both skin and muscle. The smoking of 2 unfiltered, regular-size cigarettes produced a significant increase in muscle capillary blood flow in 14 of 17 normal subjects while plethysmographic blood flow changes were variable and not significant. Tests were performed to demonstrate that the increased muscle blood flow was not secondary to inhalation, that it was reproducible, and that the sympathetic nervous system probably was not involved. Intravenous nicotine produced significant increases in both muscle capillary and total calf blood flow. Patients with arteriosclerosis obliterans showed no change in muscle capillary blood flow during smoking.
- © 1963 American Heart Association, Inc.