The role of prostaglandins in the aetiology and treatment of erectile dysfunction

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1999 Mar;60(3):169-74. doi: 10.1054/plef.1999.0021.


Both animal and human penile tissue synthesize prostaglandins (PGs). Furthermore, intracavernous injection of certain PGs elicits erection in men with erectile dysfunction (ED). It is also well established that PGs are involved in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis and diabetes mellitus (DM). Since atherosclerosis and DM are major risk factors for ED, it has been suggested that the disruption of PG synthesis in penile tissues and related vasculature may play a role in the pathogenesis of ED. In this review, we discuss the role of PGs in normal penile erection as well as on the pathophysiology and treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Vessels / metabolism
  • Erectile Dysfunction / drug therapy
  • Erectile Dysfunction / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Impotence, Vasculogenic / drug therapy
  • Impotence, Vasculogenic / etiology*
  • Male
  • Penis / blood supply
  • Prostaglandins / metabolism*
  • Prostaglandins / therapeutic use


  • Prostaglandins