Cardiovascular/Stroke Risk Assessment in Patients with Erectile Dysfunction-A Role of Carotid Wall Arterial Imaging and Plaque Tissue Characterization Using Artificial Intelligence Paradigm: A Narrative Review

Diagnostics (Basel). 2022 May 17;12(5):1249. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics12051249.


Purpose: The role of erectile dysfunction (ED) has recently shown an association with the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease (CHD) via the atherosclerotic pathway. Cardiovascular disease (CVD)/stroke risk has been widely understood with the help of carotid artery disease (CTAD), a surrogate biomarker for CHD. The proposed study emphasizes artificial intelligence-based frameworks such as machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) that can accurately predict the severity of CVD/stroke risk using carotid wall arterial imaging in ED patients.

Methods: Using the PRISMA model, 231 of the best studies were selected. The proposed study mainly consists of two components: (i) the pathophysiology of ED and its link with coronary artery disease (COAD) and CHD in the ED framework and (ii) the ultrasonic-image morphological changes in the carotid arterial walls by quantifying the wall parameters and the characterization of the wall tissue by adapting the ML/DL-based methods, both for the prediction of the severity of CVD risk. The proposed study analyzes the hypothesis that ML/DL can lead to an accurate and early diagnosis of the CVD/stroke risk in ED patients. Our finding suggests that the routine ED patient practice can be amended for ML/DL-based CVD/stroke risk assessment using carotid wall arterial imaging leading to fast, reliable, and accurate CVD/stroke risk stratification.

Summary: We conclude that ML and DL methods are very powerful tools for the characterization of CVD/stroke in patients with varying ED conditions. We anticipate a rapid growth of these tools for early and better CVD/stroke risk management in ED patients.

Keywords: atherosclerosis; cardiovascular disease; carotid artery disease; carotid ultrasound-based tissue characterization; deep learning; erectile dysfunction; machine learning; pathophysiology; risk assessment.

Publication types

  • Review

Grant support

This research received no external funding.