We tested the hypothesis that acute smoking is associated with ST segment depression during general anesthesia in patients without ischemic heart disease. The carbon monoxide (CO) concentration in expired gas and hemodynamic data was measured during general anesthesia for noncardiac or nonperipheral vascular surgery in patients without symptoms or evidence of ischemic heart disease. Increased expired CO concentrations are indicators of recent smoking. Logistic regression analysis identified significant predictors of ST segment depression > or = 1 mm. Both rate pressure product (odds ratio 1.20 for each increase of 1000, 95% confidence interval = 1.04-1.41, P = 0.007) and expired CO concentration (odds ratio 1.05 for each part per million increase, 95% confidence interval = 1.03-1.08, P = 0.001) were significant predictors of ST segment depression when considered simultaneously. Males demonstrated a lower probability of having an episode of ST depression (odds ratio = 0.16, P = 0.01), but this did not change the relationship between rate pressure product and CO as predictors of ST depression. Approximately 25% of chronically smoking patients smoked on the morning of surgery despite instructions not to smoke.
Implications: Patients under age 65 without symptoms of ischemic heart disease who smoked shortly before surgery had more episodes of rate pressure product-related ST segment depression than nonsmokers, prior smokers, or chronic smokers who did not smoke before surgery. Females were at greater risk of ST depression than males.