Introduction. Many patients with Peyronie's disease (PD) have one or more risk factors (RFs) for atherosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction. It is well recognized that such RFs commonly lead to the development of systemic vascular abnormalities. While not necessarily so, this may implicate vascular dysfunction in its pathogenesis. The cause of PD remains obscure despite intense research over the years and investigating the role of vascular dysfunction in the pathogenesis of PD is a novel approach worth undertaking.
Aim. To test our hypothesis that PD is associated with systemic vascular changes even in the absence of RFs for atherosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction.
Methods. Vascular function was assessed using high-resolution brachial artery ultrasound in 23 PD patients (aged 30–65 years) without RFs for endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis, and 23 age-matched healthy controls. Endothelium-dependent, flow-mediated brachial artery dilation was measured in response to increased shear stress (reactive hyperemia induced by 5 minutes of forearm ischemia). This response was contrasted with that of 400 µg sublingual glyceryl trinitrate, an endothelium-independent vasodilator. Anthropometric characteristics, blood pressure, fasting lipids, and glucose were also measured.
Main Outcome Measure. Endothelium-dependent, flow-mediated brachial artery dilation and glyceryl trinitrate-induced endothelium-independent vasodilation.
Results. Endothelium-dependent flow-mediated dilation (FMD) was impaired in PD patients compared to controls (5.62 ± 0.58% vs. 7.46 ± 0.56%, P = 0.03). In contrast, responses to glyceryl trinitrate were similar in PD patients and controls as were blood pressure, lipid, and glucose values. FMD remained impaired after multivariable adjustment for potential confounders.
Conclusion. Patients with Peyronie's disease have evidence of systemic vascular changes in the way of systemic conduit artery endothelial impairment even in the absence of RFs for atherosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction. These wider vascular abnormalities in PD are likely to be of clinical relevance and require further study. Agrawal V, Ellins E, Donald A, Minhas S, Halcox J, and Ralph DJ. Systemic vascular endothelial dysfunction in Peyronie's disease. J Sex Med 2008;5:2688–2693.