Get access

Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Status in Patients with Erectile Dysfunction


Alessandra Barassi, MD, Dipartimento di Medicina, Chirurgia e Odontoiatria, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via di Rudinì 8, Milano 20142, Italy. Tel: 393355444121; Fax: 3981844027; E-mail:


Introduction.  Erectile dysfunction (ED) is increasingly recognized as a public health problem. The interaction between nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species is one of the important mechanisms implicated in the pathophysiological process of ED. Plasma contains various antioxidant components to prevent free-radical injury.

Aim.  The aim of this study was to determine and compare the oxidative and antioxidant status of peripheral venous blood in patients with ED of arteriogenic and non-arteriogenic origin.

Methods.  Oxidative stress and antioxidant status were assessed in 40 patients with ED and 20 healthy controls.

Main Outcome Measures.  Plasma reactive oxygen metabolite (ROM) concentrations were measured as an indicator of oxidative stress, and plasma total antioxidant status (TAS) to indicate antioxidant defense.

Results.  Plasma ROM concentrations were higher (349.75 ± 53.35 standard deviation [SD] U.Carr vs. 285.43 ± 25.58 U.Carr, P < 0.001) and plasma TAS lower (0.54 ± 0.16 SD mmol/L vs. 0.94 ± 0.28 SD mmol/L, P < 0.0001) in patients with arteriogenic ED in comparison to those in patients with non-arteriogenic ED. Plasma ROM and TAS in controls were not significantly different from those in non-arteriogenic ED.

Conclusions.  This observation may be useful to better understand and distinguish arteriogenic from non-arteriogenic ED using laboratory tests. In addition, our findings provide important support for an antioxidant therapy to try to correct oxidative stress in arteriogenic ED patients. Barassi A, Colpi GM, Piediferro G, Dogliotti G, Melzi D'Eril GV, and Corsi MM. Oxidative stress and antioxidant status in patients with erectile dysfunction. J Sex Med 2009;6:2820–2825.

Get access to the full text of this article