The relationship between cigarette smoking, endothelial function and intrauterine growth restriction in human pregnancy

BJOG. 2008 May;115(6):780-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2008.01691.x. Epub 2008 Mar 19.


This study examined the relationship of cigarette smoking and endothelial function in pregnant women by comparing smokers with nonsmokers. Endothelial function was assessed at 28-32 weeks of gestation by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) using ultrasound of the brachial artery. The initial FMD was significantly different between the smoking group (n = 21) at 4.0 +/- 2.3, indicating endothelial dysfunction, and the nonsmoking group (n = 20) at 9.7 +/- 4.0 (P < 0.001). After smoking, this difference in the groups persisted. Babies who were growth restricted (<10th percentile) had mothers with a significantly lower FMD, that is endothelial dysfunction. This work demonstrates persistent endothelial dysfunction in smoking pregnant women.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brachial Artery / physiology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Parity
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / etiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / physiopathology
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal
  • Vasodilation / physiology