Vasculogenic erectile dysfunction is a predictor of abnormal stress echocardiography

J Sex Med. 2009 Mar;6(3):820-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.01087.x. Epub 2009 Jan 9.


Introduction: Erectile dysfunction (ED) and atherosclerotic vascular disease have the same risk factors; furthermore, endothelial dysfunction has been shown to be a common link between these conditions. A high prevalence of silent coronary artery disease (CAD) in patients with ED has been observed.

Aims: The aims of this article were to define the prevalence and identify predictors of occult obstructive CAD in patients with documented vasculogenic ED.

Main outcome measures: Duplex Doppler penile ultrasonography (DUS); exercise stress echocardiography; IIEF; CAD risk factors. Methods. Patients presenting with ED who had penile vascular insufficiency documented by DUS and who had no history of diabetes or symptoms of CAD were prospectively enrolled for noninvasive cardiac stress testing using exercise stress echocardiography.

Results: Forty-nine men (mean age 517 years) with an average duration of ED of 2.52 years were evaluated. Penile arterial insufficiency was present in 94%, and venous leak in 20% of patients. Comorbidities included hypertension (51%), hyperlipidemia (41%), and smoking (35%). All patients had at least one vascular risk factor, with 40% having two, 15% three, and 15% four risk factors. Ten patients (20%) had abnormal cardiac stress test. On univariate analysis, age, IIEF-EF domain score, cavernosal artery insufficiency, presence of venous leak, and history of a first-degree relative with CAD were significant predictors. On multivariate analysis, cavernosal artery insufficiency, venous leak, and family history of CAD continued to be predictors of an abnormal stress test.

Conclusions: A significant proportion of men with vasculogenic ED have abnormal cardiac stress test. The greatest chance for abnormal cardiac stress test was observed in those with corporo-venocclusive dysfunction or family history of CAD. In some men presenting with ED, even without a CAD history, performing penile DUS or cardiology referral for stress testing should be considered.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology*
  • Echocardiography*
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Impotence, Vasculogenic / diagnosis
  • Impotence, Vasculogenic / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Penis / diagnostic imaging
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Stress, Physiological*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Duplex