Combined cardiac sympathetic excitation and vagal impairment in patients with non-organic erectile dysfunction

Chih J. Chen, Terry B J Kuo, Yi Jhan Tseng, Cheryl C H Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Patients with non-organic erectile dysfunction (ED) frequently present with syndromes involving systemic sympathovagal dysfunction. The linkage of ED to cardiac autonomic regulation is not well understood. Methods: Forty-four men with non-organic ED and 38 healthy age-matched control subjects with ages ranging from 40 years to 69 years were recruited. These two groups were divided into three distinct age categories at 10-year intervals. Patients were divided into three different severity categories, among whom 35 patients received a two-month oral treatment of trazodone. Power spectral analysis of successive R-R intervals (RR) was performed to evaluate the variance (variance of RR-interval values), the high-frequency power (HF), and the ratio of low-frequency power to HF (LF/HF) of their heart rate variability (HRV). Results: Patients exhibited a significantly lower variance and HF, but a higher LF/HF compared to the control group across all age categories. The changes in variance and HF were severity dependent. In addition, all the HRV parameters of the patients with a satisfactory response after treatment have significantly improved. Conclusion: The results indicate that patients with non-organic ED had significant cardiac sympathetic hyperactivity and severity-dependent cardiac vagal impairment. Significance: Non-organic ED may be accompanied by an abnormality in cardiac autonomic regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-352
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Heart rate variability
  • Non-organic erectile dysfunction
  • Satisfactory response
  • Severity-dependent
  • Spectral analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Sensory Systems


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