The role of nitric oxide (NO) in erectile physiology is well documented. NO activates relaxation of corporal cavernosal smooth muscle tissue resulting in increased blood flow into the penis resulting in an erection. At present, pharmacologic treatments for erectile dysfunction, such as the phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, potentiate the erectile response generated by NO. However, a new class of treatments at a preclinical stage may allow localized delivery of NO to the penis via cutaneous application. These treatments may be of particular value to patients with a neurogenic component to their erectile dysfunction, and may act synergistically with phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors to increase their efficacy.
- PDE5 inhibitors
- erectile dysfunction
- nitric oxide
- phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors
ASJC Scopus subject areas