OBJECTIVE: Blood endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) and microparticles (EMP) have been proposed as markers of endothelial dysfunction. Aim of this study was to evaluate a new immunophenotype of EPC and EMP in patients with arterial erectile dysfunction (AED) compared to psychogenic erectile dysfunction (PED).MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred patients (63.2±2.6 yr) with AED were enrolled in this study. Their EPC and EMP concentrations were compared to those of 40 patients with PED (64.2±2.7 yr). EPC (CD45(neg)/CD34(pos)/ CD144(pos)) and EMP (CD45(neg)/CD144(pos)/AnnexinV(pos)) blood concentrations were evaluated by flow cytometry.RESULTS: Patients with AED had significantly higher blood pressure, triglycerides, homeostasis model assessment index of insulin resistance, and cavernous artery acceleration time and intima-media thickness than PED; whereas international index of erectile function 5 score, HDL-cholesterol, and cavernous artery peak systolic velocity was lower than PED. Both EPC and EMP were significantly higher in patients with AED compared to patients with PED.CONCLUSIONS: Patients with AED showed worse metabolic parameters, cavernous artery parameters, and higher EPC and EMP compared to patients with PED. This suggests that AED is an expression of endothelial dysfunction and that EPC and EMP may be considered predictors of endothelial dysfunction in patients with AED.
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