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Article
December 19, 1959

VASCULAR MEASUREMENTS OF SMOKERS AND NONSMOKERS: DIFFERENCES SEEN IN POSTEROANTERIOR ROENTGENOGRAMS MADE WITH PATIENTS STANDING ERECT

Author Affiliations

New Orleans

J. Aron Fellow, Department of Radiology, Touro Infirmary.

JAMA. 1959;171(16):2182-2184. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010340026006
Abstract

Plain anteroposterior roentgenograms of the chest were used to obtain micrometric measurements of the caliber of the pulmonary blood vessels. The arterial shadows were classified by location as main hilar, perihilar, midzone, and peripheral, and the average diameters of each class of arteries were noted in 257 nonsmokers, 133 light smokers, 204 moderate smokers, and 100 heavy smokers, in order to see whether smoking had measurable effects on the pulmonary circulation. The most striking difference was in the size of the main hilar vessels, namely, 0.533 in. for nonsmokers and 0.664 in. for heavy smokers. The difference, significant by statistical criteria, was interpreted to indicate hypertrophic dilatation of the pulmonary arteries. This could be explained by assuming that vasoconstriction or spasm in the smaller arteries or arterioles was precipitated by the chronic action of nicotine, since the vasoconstrictive effect of that drug is well known and easily demonstrated.

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