Erectile dysfunction and asymptomatic coronary artery disease: frequently detected by computed tomography coronary angiography but not by exercise electrocardiography
Article first published online: 25 AUG 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
International Journal of Clinical Practice
Volume 67, Issue 11, pages 1159–1162, November 2013
How to Cite
Jackson, G. (2013), Erectile dysfunction and asymptomatic coronary artery disease: frequently detected by computed tomography coronary angiography but not by exercise electrocardiography. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 67: 1159–1162. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.12275
- Issue published online: 24 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 25 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 22 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 30 MAY 2013
Erectile dysfunction (ED) and vascular disease, in particular coronary artery disease (CAD), have the common denominator of endothelial dysfunction. ED frequently precedes a CAD event by between 2 and 5 years (average 3 years). ED also predicts an acute coronary syndrome as well as increased mortality, suggesting the rupture of an asymptomatic coronary plaque. This study compares multi-detector cardiac computed tomography (MDCT) with maximal treadmill exercising in men with ED and no coronary symptoms as a means of detecting coronary lesions.
Sixty-five men with organic ED and no cardiac symptoms were prospectively screened for CAD. All underwent maximal exercise testing and MDCT in the same 7-day period. The Sexual Health Inventory for Men questionnaire established the presence of ED.
The exercise ECG was borderline abnormal in three men and normal in 62. CT calcium was present in 53 (score 5–1671) and non-calcified plaque in seven. The MDCT angiogram was normal in only 5 (3.25%).
Erectile dysfunction may predict CAD in the absence of cardiac symptoms. MDCT detects subclinical plaque which may be vulnerable to rupture and which is not flow limiting enough to influence the exercise ECG. The window of 2–5 years between ED and a CAD event offers an opportunity for aggressive risk factor reduction. ED should be a routine question in any risk calculator.