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J Urol. 1991 Apr;145(4):759-63.

Cigarette smoking: an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis in the hypogastric-cavernous arterial bed of men with arteriogenic impotence.

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Department of Radiology, University Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.


We investigated the relationship between cigarette smoking and atherosclerosis of the hypogastric-cavernous arterial bed by evaluating arteriograms of young impotent men referred for selective pudendal angiography. Those patients with hemodynamically significant atherosclerosis had smoked more pack-years than had patients without arterial disease. These differences were statistically significant (p less than 0.05) for the common penile artery (32.8 pack-years, 40 patients versus 22.3 pack-years 57 patients) and the dorsal artery (31.3 pack-years, 48 patients versus 22.0 pack-years, 49 patients). The effect of cigarette smoking as an independent risk factor for atherosclerotic disease in the hypogastric-cavernous arterial bed was evaluated as well. When controlled for age, trauma history, hypertension and diabetes, cigarette smoking was independently associated with atherosclerosis in the internal pudendal artery (p less than 0.05). The relative risk (and 95% confidence interval) of developing internal pudendal artery atherosclerosis for each 10 pack-years smoked was 1.31 (1.05 to 1.64). A third analysis investigated the potential interactive effects of cigarette smoking and pelvic or perineal trauma. A significantly higher incidence (p less than 0.05) of cavernous artery atherosclerosis was found among smokers with a history of chronic perineal trauma (33 patients) compared to nonsmokers with a similar history (25 patients). The findings of this study indicate that cigarette smoking is an independent risk factor in the development of atherosclerotic lesions in the internal pudendal and common penile arteries of young impotent men. Cigarette smoking appears to predispose these patients to early atherosclerotic lesions in the cavernous artery following chronic perineal trauma.

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