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Aging Male. 2011 Dec;14(4):265-72. doi: 10.3109/13685538.2010.544344. Epub 2011 Feb 8.

Aerobic physical activity improves endothelial function in the middle-aged patients with erectile dysfunction.

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  • 1Section of Endocrinology, Andrology and Internal Medicine and Master in Andrological, Human Reproduction and Biotechnology Sciences, Department of Internal Medicine and Systemic Diseases, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.



Physical activity (PhA) has proven to be a protective factor for normal erectile function. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a standard protocol of aerobic PhA on quality of erectile dysfunction (ED) in patients with arterial ED.


Fifty patients (48-62 years) were selected and underwent to standard protocol of aerobic PhA: 150 min of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week (group A). Twenty patients, matched aged, with vascular ED who did not accept to undergo the standard PhA's protocol, represented the control group. All patients were evaluated, by IIEF-5 questionnaire administration, penile eco color doppler and flow-cytometric analysis for detection of serum concentrations of original immunophenotype endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) = CD45neg/CD34pos/CD144pos and endothelial microparticles (EMPs) = CD45neg/CD34neg/CD144pos.


After 3 months, group A showed IIEF 5 score and peak systolic velocity significantly higher (p < 0.05) compared to controls, and significantly lower values (p < 0.05) of acceleration time, in addition serum concentrations of EPCs and EMPs were significantly lower (p < 0.05) in group A compared to controls.


PhA improves quality of arterial ED, without other pharmacological approach, probably by reduced endothelial apoptosis. This study characterises the study of endothelial dysfunction by new cell circulating markers.

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