Incidental findings during computed tomographic angiography diagnostic work-up in patients with arteriogenic erectile dysfunction

Swiss Med Wkly. 2019 Dec 4:149:w20154. doi: 10.4414/smw.2019.20154. eCollection 2019 Dec 2.


Aim: To analyse the incidental findings during computed tomographic angiography (CTA) diagnostic work-up in patients with arteriogenic erectile dysfunction (ED).

Patients and methods: The medical records of all patients with suspected arteriogenic ED were entered into a database. Risk factors and underlying comorbidities were also collected. Pathological CTA findings were extracted from the CT readings and entered into the database. Incidental findings on CTA were classified as those requiring immediate medical treatment, requiring deferred medical treatment or of no clinical importance.

Results: A total of 200 patients underwent CTA for suspected arteriogenic ED. Mean patient age was 59.6 ± 11.7 years. Of these, 181 patients (90.5%) had obstructions of erection-related arteries. In 168 patients (84.0%), CTA showed multiple incidental pathological findings. Eighty-five of 200 patients (42.5%) exhibited incidental findings requiring immediate further medical workup and/or treatment: coronary artery calcification was diagnosed in 75/200 (37.5%), aorto-iliac aneurysms in 8/200 (4%) of patients and incidentally detected embolism in 1/200 patient. Pancreatic and liver tumours were less frequent (incidence 1.5% and 1%, respectively). Incidental findings requiring deferred medical workup and/or treatment were detected in 175/200 patients (87.5%). The findings with the highest prevalence were liver steatosis followed by colon diverticulosis and prostate hyperplasia. Findings of little to no clinical importance were reported in 117 (58.5%) patients. These included uncomplicated renal cysts, spinal degeneration and renal vascular anomalies. Almost every second patient presenting with ED had an incidental finding which required immediate treatment.

Conclusions: Incidental findings not directly related to ED were common among patients undergoing CTA scans for suspected arterial obstructions. Coronary artery calcification was the leading finding requiring further medical workup and/or treatment. Thus, the benefit of CTA investigations extends beyond the anatomic description of arterial obstructions of erection-related arteries.

MeSH terms

  • Computed Tomography Angiography*
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Diverticulosis, Colonic
  • Fatty Liver
  • Humans
  • Impotence, Vasculogenic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Incidental Findings*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged