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J Invasive Cardiol. 2013 Jun;25(6):313-9.

The link between vasculogenic erectile dysfunction, coronary artery disease, and peripheral artery disease: role of metabolic factors and endovascular therapy.

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Department of Surgery, Section of Urology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is estimated to affect 150 million people worldwide and may indicate diffuse systemic macrovascular disease. Endothelial dysfunction represents the probable pathophysiological link between vasculogenic ED, coronary artery disease (CAD), and peripheral artery disease (PAD), and the artery size hypothesis along with evidence-based research support ED as the incident clinical event. Given that many common risk factors for atherosclerosis, including smoking, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, and obesity are prevalent and causative in patients with ED, it is likely that metabolic factors play a crucial role in the link between the two disorders. The interplay of these factors provides a unifying physiological, endocrinological, and behavioral model for the association between ED, CAD, and PAD. Current therapy is unlikely to reverse the natural history of ED. Percutaneous revascularization may improve ED symptoms, and thereby quality of life, in a select group of patients. Large prospective studies are needed to define male pelvic arterial anatomy and thus enhance the utilization of internal pudendal angiography and revascularization. In this review, we provide an overview of normal erectile anatomy and physiology, the pathophysiology of ED, currently accepted diagnostic imaging modalities and treatments for ED, and recently investigated endovascular therapies for ED.

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