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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 198-204

The effects of synthetic cannabinoids on the cardiovascular system: A case–control study

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Adnan Yamanoğlu
Department of Emergency Medicine, Ataturk Training and Research Hospital, Izmir Katip Celebi University, Basin Sitesi-Izmir 35360
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2452-2473.329634

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OBJECTIVES: Limited clinical studies have investigated the effects of synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) on the cardiovascular system (CVS). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of SCs on the CVS. METHODS: The patient group of this single-center, prospective, case–control study consisted of adult patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with symptoms of SC use. Vital signs and electrocardiogram (ECG) after use of SC of patients were followed. A control group with a similar number of patients and patient demographics were formed following the patient admission process. Pulse rate, arterial blood pressure (ABP), and ECG of patient and control groups were compared using Mann–Whitney U and Chi-squared tests. RESULTS: A total of 148 people were included in the study, 74 in the patient group and 74 in the control group. Systolic and diastolic ABPs of patient group were statistically significantly lower than those of the control group (P < 0.001). P-wave width and amplitude in the patient group were significantly higher compared to the control group (P: 0.027 and P: 0.004, respectively). QRS width on patient group ECGs was significantly higher than in the control group, while T-wave amplitude was significantly lower (P: 0.045 and P < 0.001, respectively). ST elevation was seen in 12 (16.2%) subjects in the patient group, while no ST elevation was seen in the control group (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: SCs can reduce systemic tension and SCs may cause changes in ECG, especially P wave, ST segment, T wave, and QRS. Further large-scale studies are needed to show whether these changes are associated with fatal arrhythmias or myocardial infarction.

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