Airway and Pulmonary β2-Adrenergic Vasodilatory Function in Current Smokers and Never Smokers

Barry Hurwitz, Eliana Mendes, Andreas Schmid, Meela Parker, Johana Arana, Alex Gonzalez, Adam Wanner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background Cigarette smoking has been associated with diminished vasodilatory function in the airway circulation. It is possible that cigarette smoking similarly affects the pulmonary circulation before resting pulmonary circulatory abnormalities become manifested. The aim of this study was to compare the acute effect of inhaled albuterol on airway and pulmonary hemodynamic function as an index of β2-adrenoceptor-mediated vasodilation in smokers and never smokers. Methods In 30 adults, airway and pulmonary vascular function was assessed before and 15 min after albuterol inhalation (270 μg). From mean systemic arterial pressure, cardiac output, airway blood flow, and mean pulmonary arterial pressure, airway vascular resistance (AVR) and pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) were derived. Results Albuterol induced a substantial drop in mean (± SE) PVR (–67.2% ± 5%), with no difference between groups. In contrast, the albuterol-induced decrease in AVR was significantly greater in never smokers than in smokers (–28.6% ± 3% vs –3.1% ± 6%; P < .02). Conclusions These results are consistent with a dysfunction in a β2-adrenergic signaling pathway mediating vasorelaxation in the airway circulation of current smokers. The vasodilatory deficit in the airway circulation but not in the pulmonary circulation could be related to local differences in the impact of cigarette smoke on the vascular endothelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-657
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • airway blood flow
  • albuterol
  • cigarette smoking
  • pulmonary arterial pressure
  • vasodilatory function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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