Erectile dysfunction: a review focused on its relationship with atherosclerosis


Papatzelos Athanasios, Tsarouchas Anastasios-Stylianos, Mouselimis Dimitrios, Bakogiannis Constantinos

Author affiliations

3rd Cardiology Department, Hippokrateio University Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a highly prevalent disease that affects the quality of life of mainly older men. Among the complex etiology of ED, atherosclerosis is the predominant of the arteriogenic causes. It has been reported that ED and cardiovascular disease share common risk factors and common pathophysiological mechanisms (endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, and low testosterone levels). Moreover, increasing evidence suggests that clinical manifestations of ED precede cardiovascular events by about three years and thus, its diagnosis offers a window for early cardiologic assessment and intervention. In patients with suspected arteriogenic ED, data has shown that percutaneous revascularization of penile arteries may be considered an effective treatment strategy in patients with macroangiopathic disease who have not responded to oral conservative therapy. All in all, a complex and yet-to-be understood interplay between ED and cardiovascular disease has been revealed in recent years.


erectile dysfunction, atherosclerosis, sildenafil

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