Placing a stent in the pudendal artery may help men with erectile dysfunction (ED), according to research presented at the Cardiovascular Research Foundation’s Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics conference held in October in Miami.
Stents, or small mesh tubes, can help open blocked arteries, which are a common cause of erectile dysfunction.
Thirty men with an average age of 60 years participated in the pilot trial. All of the men had a stent placed in their internal pudendal artery, a pelvic artery responsible for allowing blood into the penis. Erectile function was assessed using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF).
Twenty-three men completed the six-month follow-up period. For 67% of these men, IIEF scores increased four points or more, indicating improved erectile function.
For the 19 men who remained with the study for a full year, 84% had clinically-significant increases in their IIEF scores, although lead researcher Krishna Rocha-Singh, MD, noted potential survival bias because of the drop in participants.
Dr. Rocha-Singh is an endovascular consultant at the Prairie Vascular Institute at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois, USA.
During the one-year follow-up period, none of the men reported major problems.
While the study results are encouraging, there may be obstacles ahead for future researchers.
For example, selecting candidates for the procedure may be difficult. Ninety-two percent of the men considered for the current study could not participate because their cardiovascular disease was too advanced for stenting to be effective.
“It was all about the simple fact that we get men too late,” Dr. Rocha-Singh told MedPage Today.
Identifying patients earlier is important, Dr. Rocha-Singh suggested.
The study was sponsored by Medtronic. Because these findings have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, they are considered preliminary.
“Pelvic Stents May Aid Sexual Function”
(November 3, 2012)
“TCT: Stents Help Some Erectile Dysfunction”
(October 23, 2012)
“TCT 2012: Internal Pudendal Artery Stenting May Improve Sexual Function in Men with ED”
(October 25, 2012)