Vascular erectile dysfunction (ED) is a burdensome condition, associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Peak systolic velocity (PSV) represents the maximum pulse velocity in the cavernous artery measured by a penile color doppler ultrasonography (PCDU) during a pharmacologically induced erection and is considered a reliable parameter for the diagnosis of vascular ED. However, the cut-off value of standard PSV (30 cm/s) provides high sensitivity only in the diagnosis of advanced arteriogenic disease. Thus, an age-adjusted PSV (6.73 + 0.7 x age cm/s) has been proposed to offer a more accurate diagnosis of vascular ED.
In this study it was aimed to answer the following question: “Is there any positive association between indexes of vascular erectile dysfunction and cardiorespiratory fitness?”
25 patients with a medical history of ED (median age 55.3 years) underwent PCDU after pharmacological stimulation. Subsequently, a functional evaluation with ECG-monitored, incremental, maximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing was performed.
Peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak), peak oxygen uptake per body weight (VO2 peak/kg) and Watt/kg correlated with standard PSV, even when corrected for age and BMI (p < 0.05). No differences emerged in cardiopulmonary fitness between pathological and healthy patients (4 vs 21) identified using the standard PSV cut-off. Conversely, the age-adjusted PSV cut-off identified a greater number of patients as pathological (18 vs 7), presenting a significantly lower cardiopulmonary fitness, exercise capacity and efficiency when compared to patients with normal age-adjusted PSV (all p < 0.05).
Data showed an age and BMI independent association between vascular disfunction of cavernous artery and cardiopulmonary fitness, a known solid predictor of all-cause and disease-specific mortality. Moreover, the age-adjusted PSV better identified a subgroup of patients with vascular ED presenting impaired cardiorespiratory fitness and thus increased cardiovascular risk. De Rocco Ponce M, Vecchiato M, Neunhaeuserer D, et al. Association Between Penile Color Doppler Ultrasonography and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Patients With Vascular Erectile Dysfunction. Sex Med 2021;XX:XXXXXX.

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