Objective: To investigate the effects of pentoxifylline on penile blood flow and potency in patients with erectile dysfunction due to borderline arterial insufficiency.
Patients and methods: Following a routine diagnostic evaluation, 36 patients with borderline arterial disease diagnosed using penile duplex ultrasonography were included in the study. Of these patients, 20 (mean age 54 years, range 40-66) received 1.2 g of pentoxifylline daily, divided into three doses orally, for 2 months and 16 (mean age 54 years, range 34-65) received a placebo. Peak systolic velocities (PSVs) before and after the treatment were compared with those in patients receiving a placebo. The clinical improvement in erectile function was also evaluated.
Results: Twelve of 20 patients receiving pentoxifylline had an increase in PSV at the end of the treatment period. The mean change in PSV achieved by pentoxifylline treatment (6.25 cm/s) was significantly higher than that achieved by the placebo (0.38 cm/s). Seven patients had a positive response (successful coitus achieved after treatment with pentoxifylline). No serious side-effects occurred.
Conclusion: Pentoxifylline was well tolerated and could increase penile arterial inflow, shown objectively as an increase in PSV on penile duplex ultrasonography. These findings should encourage further studies of the efficacy of pentoxifylline in the treatment of impotence.