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Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 2005 Jun;83(3):355-9.

The effects of sildenafil on ocular blood flow.

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  • 1Ophthalmology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Zonguldak Karaelmas University, Zonguldak, Turkey.



To investigate the effects of sildenafil, a popular new drug in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, on ocular blood flow.


This study was designed as a prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Twenty participants with erectile dysfunction were given a single oral dose of 100 mg sildenafil, while 10 participants with erectile dysfunction were given placebo. All the participants underwent routine systemic and ophthalmological examinations. Intraocular pressure, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and ocular blood flow (ophthalmic, central retinal, short posterior ciliary arteries) were measured in both eyes before and 1 hour after the dose of sildenafil or placebo. Ocular blood flow measurements were performed using colour Doppler ultrasonography.


None of the parameters were significantly different between the groups before study drug intake. Although central retinal artery velocities were not changed, ophthalmic artery and short posterior ciliary artery peak systolic velocity, end-diastolic velocity, and mean velocity values were significantly increased 1 hour after drug intake in the sildenafil group compared to the placebo group (p < 0.05).


Sildenafil causes a significant increase in blood flow in these arteries. A possible role of inhibition of phosphodiesterase-5 in vascular smooth muscles by sildenafil is implicated. Further studies are needed to investigate the effects of sildenafil on ocular blood flow in patients with senile macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

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