Metabolic Syndrome and Erectile Dysfunction

The ultrasound evaluation of cavernosal atherosclerosis

  1. Carlo Foresta, MD
  1. Department of Histology, Microbiology, and Medical Biotechnologies, Section of Clinical Pathology, Centre for Male Gamete Cryopreservation, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
  1. Corresponding author: Carlo Foresta, carlo.foresta{at}


OBJECTIVE To study the relation between metabolic syndrome (MS), cavernosal morphological vasculopathy, and peripheral vascular alterations (carotid and femoral wall) in patients with erectile dysfunction.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS A total of 207 patients and 50 control subjects were evaluated for cardiovascular risk factors, physical examination, reproductive hormones, ultrasound analysis of cavernosal, carotid and femoral arteries (intima-media thickness), and cavernosal flow measurement (peak systolic velocity).

RESULTS A total of 28% of patients had MS, and they presented with a high prevalence of cavernosal alterations (70.3%) and systemic vascular impairment (59.3%), whereas patients with cavernosal alterations (44%) showed the higher prevalence of MS (48.9%). The number of MS components was related to the prevalence of penile vasculopathy. However, multivariate analysis showed that MS is not an independent predictor for cavernosal vasculopathy.

CONCLUSIONS Patients with cavernosal vasculopathy have an increased cardiometabolic risk, and screening for MS components might identify individuals with a higher risk for cavernosal and systemic atherosclerosis.

  • Received January 12, 2011.
  • Accepted May 15, 2011.

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