Purpose: The role of endothelial function testing using peripheral artery tonometry (PAT) in the evaluation of ED is not well established. Endothelial dysfunction is expected to be more common in men presenting with general or vasculogenic ED, compared with men who develop ED after prostatectomy. This study evaluated whether PAT could help identify men in whom endothelial cell dysfunction was the underlying cause of ED.
Materials and methods: A chart review of 194 men with general ED and 98 men with postprostatectomy ED was performed to abstract data on demographics, medical comorbidities, SHIM-5 scores and EndoPAT scores. Patients with preoperative ED were excluded. Statistical analysis using Student’s t-test and Chi-squared analysis was performed to compare the two groups of men with respect to these variables.
Results: EndoPAT scores were not significantly different between men with general vs. postprostatectomy ED (1.97 vs. 2.08, p = 0.074). There was no relationship between EndoPAT and SHIM-5 scores in the general ED cohort. The prevalence of hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and cardiovascular (CV) disease was similar between the two groups, but diabetes and hypogonadism were more prevalent in men with general ED (21% vs. 9%, and 28% vs. 7%, p < 0.015). Overall, EndoPAT scores in postprostatectomy men with at least one risk factor were not significantly different compared with men with general ED with the same comorbidity, or a combination of two or more comorbidities.
Conclusions: The value of EndoPAT testing in the clinical evaluation of ED patients is questionable.