“Erectile Dysfunction and Aortic Valve Stenosis?” Asks Deana
By Adam Pick on June 6, 2009
I just received a unique question from Deana about aortic stenosis and erectile dysfunction.
She writes, “Hi Adam – My husband was just diagnosed this past January with aortic valve stenosis. His Cardiologist said that he was going to have to have open heart surgery to repair it. My question is can aortic stenosis cause erectile dysfunction? We have been trying to find a connection between those two and that is how we wound up on your web page. Any information you can give us would be great. Thank you, Deana”
When I don’t have a good answer to a patient question, I waste no time in “calling on the experts”. So, I emailed Dr. Eric Roselli, M.D., a leading cardiothoracic surgeon from The Cleveland Clinic. Minutes later, Dr. Roselli and I were on the phone chatting about Deana’s question. As aortic valve disease is one of Dr. Roselli’s specialties, he had A LOT of good information to share.
Like most physicians, Dr. Roselli appropriately suggested that Deana’s husband contact his own doctor to best understand the situation – given the unique nature of each patient case.
Then, Dr. Roselli addressed Deana’s question about erectile dysfunction and aortic stenosis.
During our discussion, Dr. Roselli noted that, although he has not reviewed any clinical research detailing a distinct connection between aortic stenosis and ED, there are similar risk factors (diabetes, smoking, obesity, high cholesterol) for aortic stenosis (narrow heart valve) and atherosclerosis. Dr. Roselli referenced that erectile dysfunction is documented as a symptom of atherosclerosis.
If you are unfamiliar with the term atherosclerosis… Atherosclerosis is a form of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) affecting large and medium-sized arteries. Fatty deposits, called “Atheromas” or plaques, damage the lining of arteries causing them to narrow and harden. As plaque deposits gradually enlarge, they interfere with blood flow. This often leads to pain or decreased function in those tissues supplied by the affected arteries.
The Mayo Clinic supports Dr. Roselli’s thoughts. During my own research, the Mayo Clinic states, “Erectile dysfunction can be a wake-up call that you’re at risk of heart disease. The same factors that contribute to heart disease can cause erectile dysfunction.”
I hope this helps Deana (and perhaps you) learn more about erectile dysfunction and heart valve disease.
Keep on tickin!