Chronic treatment with Tadalafil improves endothelial function in men with increased cardiovascular risk

Giuseppe M C Rosano, Antonio Aversa, Cristiana Vitale, Andrea Fabbri, Massimo Fini, Giovanni Spera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is often associated with a cluster of risk factors for coronary artery disease and reduced endothelial function. Acute and chronic administration of oral sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor, improves endothelial function in patients with ED. Tadalafil (TAD) is a new PDE5 inhibitor with a long half life that allows alternate day administration. Aim of the study was to evaluate whether chronic therapy (4 weeks) with TAD improves endothelial function in patients with increased cardiovascular risk and whether this effect is sustained after discontinuation of therapy. We randomized 32 patients with increased cardiovascular risk to receive either TAD 20 mg on alternate days or matching placebo (PLB) for 4 weeks. Patients underwent evaluation of brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD), nitrite/nitrate and endothelin-1 plasma levels at baseline, at the end of treatment period and after two-weeks follow-up. At 4 weeks, FMD was significantly improved by TAD (from 4.2 ± 3.2 to 9.3 ± 3.7%, p <0.01 vs. baseline), but was not modified by PLB (from 4.1 ± 2.8 to 4.0 ± 3.4%, p = NS). At 6 weeks the benefit in FMD was sustained in patients that received TAD (9.1 ± 3.9% vs. 4.2 ± 3.2%, p = 0.01 vs. baseline; 9.1 ± 3.9% vs. 9.3 ± 3.7%, vs. 4 weeks, p = NS) while no changes in FMD were observed in patients randomized to PLB. Also, compared to baseline, a net increase in nitrite/nitrate levels (38.2 ± 12.3 vs. 52.6 ± 11.7 and 51.1 ± 3.1, p <0.05) and a decrease in endothelin-1 levels (3.3 ± 0.9 vs. 2.9. ± 0.7 and 2.9 ± 0.9, p <0.05) was found both at four and six-weeks after TAD; these changes were inversely correlated as shown by regression analysis (adjusted R 2 = 0.81, p <0.0001). Chronic therapy with TAD improves endothelial function in patients with increased cardiovascular risk regardless their degree of ED. The benefit of this therapy is sustained for at least two weeks after the discontinuation of therapy. Larger studies are needed in order to assess the possible clinical implications of chronic therapy with TAD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-222
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005



  • Arterial dilatation
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Phosphodiesterase type 5
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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