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The Role of E-cigarette Characteristics and Constituents in Cardiac Dysfunction

Principal Investigator(s): Alex Carll

Funding Mechanism: NIH Grant

ID number: 1R01HL147343-01

Award Date: May 20, 2019

Institution: University of Louisville


The acute and chronic health effects of e-cigarettes are mostly unknown. The goal of this project is to identify specific e-cigarette device characteristics and constituents associated with cardiac toxicity. Researchers will conduct electrocardiogram (ECG) and programmed stimulus electrophysiology (EP) studies in mice to test the hypothesis that e-cigarettes induce electrical disturbances in the heart that are related to e-cigarette characteristics and constituents. Study aims are: (1) to determine how device characteristics influence the acute electrophysiologic effects of e-cigarettes in mice, and (2) to assess the impacts of chronic e-cigarette exposure on cardiac electrophysiology and hemodynamics. Real-time cardiac physiology will be monitored during and after acute exposures to aerosols of e-cigarettes with various characteristics (device type, user settings, nicotine levels) to determine how they affect both harmful and potentially harmful constituent (HPHC) production and ECG measures of cardiac dysfunction. The device characteristics with the greatest and smallest acute cardiac effects will be selected for chronic exposure studies that will comprehensively assess cardiac EP and hemodynamics. E-cigarette exposure groups will be simultaneously compared to cigarette smoke and filtered-air exposure groups. This study will present new data regarding the relative cardiac toxicity of different e-cigarette devices, constituents, and settings, particularly with regard to their potential to cause cardiac arrhythmia.