HealthDay News — In healthy nonsmokers, inhaling nicotine-free electronic cigarette aerosol has a transient impact on endothelial function, according to a study published online Aug. 20 in Radiology.

Alessandra Caporale, Ph.D., from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues quantified surrogate markers of endothelial function in nonsmokers after inhalation of aerosol from nicotine-free electronic cigarettes in a prospective study. Thirty-one healthy never-smokers underwent 3.0-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before and after inhaling aerosol.

After electronic cigarette vaping, the researchers found that the resistivity index was higher (2.3 percent) and luminal flow-mediated dilation was severely blunted (−34 percent). Peak velocity (−17.5 percent) and the hyperemic index (−25.8 percent) were reduced and time to peak velocity was delayed (29.6 percent). Baseline blood flow velocity and oxygenation (SvO2) were lower (−20 percent), and the maximum SvO2 increase (overshoot) was higher (52.6 percent); there was also a marginal increase noted in aortic pulse wave velocity (3 percent). There were no changes in the remaining parameters after aerosol inhalation.

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“Our study provides further insight into the effects on the endothelium from electronic cigarette exhalants detectable by using noninvasive quantitative MRI markers,” the authors write. “In light of these results, it would be desirable to corroborate our findings in larger cohorts.”

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