Erectile Dysfunction, Metabolic Syndrome, and Cardiovascular Risks

Facts and Controversies

Edward Sanchez; Alexander W. Pastuszak; Mohit Khera


Transl Androl Urol. 2017;6(1):28-36. 

In This Article

The Role of Inflammation in CVD and ED

Several studies have suggested that chronic inflammation and circulating inflammatory markers affect systemic endothelial function. Chronic inflammation may, therefore, represent a link between ED and CVD. ED onset and severity are associated with increased expression of markers of inflammation. Markers and mediators such as C-reactive protein (CRP), intercellular adhesion molecule 1, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, IL-1B, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) were found to be expressed at higher levels in patients with ED. In addition, endothelial and prothrombotic factors such as von Willebrand factor (vWF), tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), and fibrinogen are also expressed at higher levels in ED patients [reviewed in[29]]. Vlachopoulos found that levels of circulating inflammatory markers were indeed elevated in men with ED in both the presence and absence of CAD. Marker levels were similar in patients with ED alone compared to patients with CAD alone, suggesting that ED and CAD are equivalent with respect to activation of inflammatory and prothrombotic pathways. The presence of ED is also thought to add to the negative impact of inflammation in patients with CAD.[30]