Abebaye Aragaw Limenie1*, Eyasu Mekonnen Eshetu2, Daniel Seyifu Melka3 and Tesfaye Tolessa Dugul1
Background: Chewing the leaves of Khat is a social habit in East African countries including Ethiopia. Its health
and the socio-economic burden is becoming a severe problem in Ethiopia. Its effects on Doppler velocities in
common carotid arteries have not been studied. The present study was, therefore, designed to evaluate its
hemodynamic effects on these arteries in wild- type male white albino rats.
Materials and methods: A total of 42 adult (7-8 weeks) wild-type male white albino rats weighing between 213
and 229 g were used in this study. The rats were received Khat extract sub chronically (kesc, 100 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg
and 300 mg/kg b.w.), Khat juice (khJ, 2.5 ml/kg), ascorbic acid (AA, 200 mg/kg), 2% tween 80 in distilled water
(T80W-v/v) and Khat extract sub acutely (kesa) 300 mg/kg. The blood flow velocities and indices were measured
using an ultrasonic Doppler flow meter. The Doppler waveforms were measured three times and the average values
were taken for analysis using SPSS version 21.0 and Microsoft Excel.
Results: The SysV of common carotid artery was significantly reduced in rats received the middle (p<0.01) and
higher (p<0.01) doses of Khat extract sub chronically compared with rats received vehicle. However, the DiaV has
significantly reduced in rats receiving a higher dose of extract compared with the vehicle (p<0.05) and ascorbic acid
(p<0.001). The SysV and DiaV in rats received the lower dose of Khat extract, Khat juice, AA sub chronically and the
higher dose of Khat extract sub acutely were not affected (p>0.05). The RI (p<0.001) and the PI (p<0.01) of this
artery was significantly higher in rats received a higher dose of extract compared with the rats received the lower
dose. The size (in g) of the brain at a higher dose (p<0.001) of extract administered sub chronically was significantly
reduced compared with rats received the vehicle.
Conclusions: Khat affected the common carotid artery Doppler velocities and indices particular at the higher
doses and prolonged administration. The organ bath in vitro effects of Khat on these arteries should be investigated
in the future.
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