December 11, 2019
1 min read

Nicotine reduces macular microcirculation

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A decrease in macular microcirculation was detected after nicotine use, according to a study.

Eighteen young, healthy, nonsmoking subjects and 18 gender-matched controls were enrolled in the randomized, placebo-controlled study. Those in the study group were asked to chew 4 mg of nicotine gum while those in the control group chewed a placebo gum.

OCT angiography scans were completed on all subjects before chewing the gum and 1 hour after chewing. All images were obtained using a 6 mm × 6 mm scanning area. Automatic segmentation images were generated for the superficial retinal capillary plexus and deep retinal capillary plexus, while a 6 mm × 6 mm square region centered on the foveal avascular zone (FAZ) was defined as the flow area.

“Chewing nicotine gum caused significant reductions in macular flow area (superficial, deep, FAZ area and choriocapillaris) and [subfoveal choroidal thickness],” the study authors wrote. “Superficial and deep vessel density in all regions were significantly lower after chewing nicotine gum when compared with baseline (P < .05 all).”

There was no significant change observed in central foveal thickness.

The placebo group experienced no significant change in blood flow or vessel density as observed by the OCTA images. – by Rebecca L. Forand


Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.