Patients who smoke have higher complication rates than nonsmokers in the postoperative period. The authors designed an experimental protocol for habitual smokers (n = 30) to determine the specific hemodynamic and hematologic adverse effects possibly caused by nicotine and whether the method of nicotine delivery and systemic nicotine levels achieved might influence these adverse effects. During the 5-day study, subjects were asked to refrain from smoking, and testing sessions were conducted as follows: on day 1, the subjects smoked two cigarettes immediately before testing; on day 3 (control day), testing was done after not smoking for 48 hours and then the subjects were instructed to wear a transdermal nicotine patch (PROSTEP 22 mg/day) for 24 hours and replace it with another so that, on day 5, testing took place after the subjects had worn the patch for approximately 34 hours. At each testing session, digital artery pulse amplitude and a number of clinical and serum blood level parameters were measured. Relative digital blood flow after smoking (69.2 ± 5.8%) and with the patch (80.4 ± 7.6%) was lower than on the control day (100.0 ± 0.0%). The nicotine patch, unlike smoking, had no effect on vasopressin or fibrinogen concentrations, hematocrit, or white cell of platelet counts; both smoking and the patch resulted in elevated norepinephrine levels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas