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June 2019
Alex Konstantinovsky MD, Snait Tamir PhD, Giora Katz MD, Orna Tzischinsky PhD, Nina Kuchersky MD, Nava Blum PhD and Arnon Blum MD

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a syndrome associated with endothelial dysfunction, which may predict cardiovascular events in men presenting with this syndrome. It has been shown to be associated with a higher rate of acute myocardial infarction and cardiovascular mortality, vascular inflammation, and impaired endothelial function. In this review we present the literature findings and describe the mechanistic pathways that are known to be involved in this syndrome and its related clinical consequences.

November 2015
Zaher Bahouth MD, Rani Zreik MD, Assaf Graif MD, Ofer Nativ MD, Sarel Halachmi MD and Giora Pillar MD

Background: Erectile dysfunction (ED), a common problem in males of all ages, can be of organic, psychogenic or combined etiology. Organic ED is mainly caused by vascular and neurological disorders. One of the available tests for differentiating organic from inorganic ED is measuring penile tumescence and rigidity during the REM phase of sleep. However, this test lacks the ability to differentiate between a vascular and non-vascular cause of organic ED. 

Objectives: To compare the results of the EndoPAT test and the nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) test in patients with erectile dysfunction.

Methods: Twenty patients with ED were recruited for the study. Each participant was evaluated by the SHIM score, RigiScan during polysomnography, and two EndoPAT tests (at the beginning and end of the study).

Results: Seventeen patients had SHIM score ≤ 21; 4 of them had organic ED with a mean EndoPAT score of 1.49, significantly lower than the 1.93 mean EndoPAT score of the 11 patients in the psychogenic ED group (P = 0.047). Two participants had a neurological impairment (spinal trauma and herniated disk). The average SHIM score in the vascular organic group was 6.25 points as compared to 11.69 for the psychogenic group (P = 0.027). The positive predictive value was 43% and the negative predictive value 90%.

Conclusions: EndoPAT could be helpful in excluding organic ED.

 

October 2008
R. J. Heruti, A. Steinvil, T. Shochat, N. Saar, N. Mashav, Y. Arbel and D. Justo

Background: Erectile dysfunction is associated with treatable cardiovascular risk factors; therefore, screening for erectile dysfunction and its cardiovascular risk factors is of clinical importance.

Objectives: To detect erectile dysfunction cases and assess their severity among military personnel.

Methods: The Sexual Health Inventory for Men questionnaire was handed out to military personnel aged 25–55 years during routine examinations.

Results: A total of 19,131 men, with a mean age of 34.0 ± 7.1 years, participated in routine physical examinations during the years 2001–2005. More than half of them (n=9956, 52%) completed the SHIM[1] questionnaire. No significant differences were found between those who completed the SHIM questionnaire and those who did not, in terms of mean age, mean body mass index, and prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors. One out of every four men (25.2%) suffered from erectile dysfunction, which was mild in 18.9%, mild to moderate in 4.4%, moderate in 1.1% , and severe in 0.7%. Even though treatable cardiovascular risk factors were quite prevalent in the study group (45.2% of them suffered from dyslipidemia, 25.6% smoked, 4.2% suffered from essential hypertension, and 1.6% from diabetes mellitus), erectile dysfunction was significantly associated with age and diabetes mellitus alone (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of erectile dysfunction and associated treatable cardiovascular risk factors in Israeli men aged 25–55, especially those with diabetes. 






[1] SHIM = Sexual Health Inventory for Men


March 2007
A. Melman, N. Bar-Chama, A. McCullough, K. Davis and G. Christ

Background: Ion Channel Innovations has developed a gene transfer product, ftMaxi-K, and has begun clinical trials to investigate the effect of increased expression of Maxi-K channels in the smooth muscle of the penis or bladder in patients with erectile dysfunction and those with overactive bladder. The primary function of K channels is to modulate Ca++ influx through Ca-channels (i.e., L-type, voltage-dependent). The amount of Ca++ that enters the cell through these channels is a major determinant of the free intracellular calcium levels inside the smooth muscle cell, which in turn determines the degree of smooth muscle cell contraction. Increased Maxi-K channel activity is associated with smooth muscle cell relaxation, resulting in, for example, penile erection and detrussor muscle relaxation. A phase I clinical trial that used dMaxi-K has been completed and a similar trial to assess safety of the transfer for overactive bladder is about to begin.

Objectives: To assess the safety and tolerability of escalating dMaxi-K doses by clinical evaluations and laboratory tests, and to measure efficacy objectives by means of the International Index of Erectile Function scale.

Methods: In the erectile dysfunction trial 11 patients with moderate to severe erectile dysfunction were given a single-dose corpus cavernosum injection of dMaxi-K, a "naked" DMA plasmid carrying the human cDNA encoding for the gene for the a, or pore-forming, subunit of the human smooth muscle Maxi-K channel, hSIo. Three patients each were given 500,1000, and 5000 pg and two patients were given 7500 pg doses of ftMaxi-K and followed for 24 weeks. Patient responses were validated by partner responses.

Results: There were no serious adverse events and no dose-related adverse events attributed to gene transfer for any patient at any dose or study visit. No clinically significant changes from baseline were seen in physical evaluations (general and genitourinary), hematology, chemistry and hormone analyses, or in cardiac events evaluated by repeated electrocardiograms. Importantly, no plasmid was detected in the semen of patients at any time after the injections. Patients given the two highest doses of dMaxi-K had apparent sustained improvements in erectile function as indicated by improved IIEF-EF domain scores over the length of the study. One patient given 5000 (jg and one given 7500 [jg reported EF category improvements that were highly clinically significant and were also maintained through the 24 weeks of study.
Conclusions: Efficacy conclusions cannot be drawn from results of a phase 1 trial with no control group. However, the promising primary safety outcomes of the study and preliminary indications of effectiveness provide evidence that ftMaxi-K gene transfer is a viable approach to the treatment of erectile dysfunction and other smooth muscle diseases with targeted access

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