Erectile dysfunction and quality of life in patients under left ventricular assist device support - an unspoken issue.

Multiple domains of quality of life (QoL) such as erectile function are not sufficiently investigated among left ventricular assist-device (LVAD) patients. We aimed to evaluate the prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED) and its association with QoL and depression.

This is a prospective, single-center, cross-sectional study. We included adult male LVAD patients who were clinically stable after at least 3 months post-implantation. Erectile function was assessed with the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) questionnaire with a score of ≤21 being confirmatory for ED. QoL and depression were estimated with the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ) and the Patient Health Questionnaire depression scale (PHQ-8), respectively.

The study included 56 patients, of whom 45 (80 %) met criteria for ED, a prevalence much higher than previously reported in patients with established cardiovascular disease or conservatively treated heart failure. Patients with ED were older and had lower 6-minute walking distance. ED was not associated with comorbidities and heart failure medications but with less frequent use of diuretics and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors. There was a correlation between erectile function and depression as well as QoL.

These findings underscore that ED deserves special attention and should be included in a multi-targeted approach to address suboptimal QoL outcomes after LVAD implantation.

International journal of cardiology. Heart & vasculature. 2023 Aug 22*** epublish ***

Aiste Monika Jakstaite, Peter Luedike, Simon Wernhart, Markus Kamler, Arjang Ruhparwar, Tienush Rassaf, Maria Papathanasiou

Department of Cardiology and Vascular Medicine, West German Heart and Vascular Center, University Hospital Essen, Hufelandstrasse 55, 45147 Essen, Germany., Department of Thoracic- and Cardiovascular Surgery, West German Heart and Vascular Center, University Hospital Essen, Hufelandstrasse 55, 45147 Essen, Germany.