Introduction. Pelvic ischemia can manifest as vascular-mediated erectile dysfunction (ED) and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), and is associated with cardiac ischemia.
Aims. We aimed to develop a dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) technique to measure pelvic perfusion in benign tissue.
Methods. Nine men with coronary artery disease (CAD) were compared with nine without. Images were acquired at 3T with T1-weighted DCE-MRI for perfusion. Two-compartment pharmacokinetic modeling was employed to fit signal enhancement from prostate, corpus cavernosal, and spongiosal tissues.
Main Outcome Measures. Perfusion parameters and validated pelvic symptom scores were compared.
Results. The mean International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) total score was worse in CAD (41.3 ± 19.7) vs. controls (59.4 ± 14.9, P = 0.04). The IIEF erectile function domain score trended to worse in CAD (13.7 ± 9.7) vs. controls (22.0 ± 9.9, P = 0.09). The mean total International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) trended to worse in CAD patients (13.2) than controls (7.0) (P = 0.10). Magnetic resonance perfusion analysis demonstrated lower mean maximal percent enhancement to P < 0.0001 in the CAD group vs. controls for all the following comparisons: prostate in CAD (22.4 ± 0.4) vs. controls (26.3 ± 0.1); cavernosal tissue in CAD (9.3 ± 0.2) vs. controls (16.6 ± 0.8); and spongiosal tissue in CAD (20.6 ± 1.2) vs. controls (24.0 ± 0.6). Comparison of mean wash-in rates in the unit of 10−3/second was also highly significant (P < 0.0001 for all tissues): prostate in CAD (574.0 ± 18.0) was lower than controls (1,035.0 ± 29.0); slower wash-in rates were seen in CAD cavernosal (58.0 ± 4.0 vs. 139.0 ± 9.0 in controls) and spongiosal tissue (134.0 ± 6.0 vs. 278.0 ± 12.0 in controls).
Conclusion. These initial data demonstrate that pelvic perfusion can be measured in noncancerous tissues, and that perfusion correlates with validated measures of ED and LUTS. De EJB, Hou P, Estrera AL, Sdringola S, Kramer LA, Graves DE, and Westney OL. Pelvic ischemia is measurable and symptomatic in patients with coronary artery disease: A novel application of dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging. J Sex Med 2008;5:2635–2645.