Translumbar aortographies performed in 91 patients for limiting leg ischemia were reviewed, and stenosis was graded by points from one (normal vessel) to five (complete occlusion) for each vessel. Of 62 nondiabetic patients, 18 (29 per cent) were impotent, while of 29 diabetics, 17 (58.6 per cent) were impotent (p < 0.01). Significantly greater stenosis (p < 0.005) was found in the internal pudendal arteries of impotent patients when compared statistically with potent patients. This was true for the group as a whole, for diabetics and nondiabetics, and for patients over 50 years old both with and without diabetes. There was no significant difference in the extent of stenosis of the iliac arteries (common and internal) between potent and impotent patients. There was also no significant difference in the pattern of stenosis between diabetic and nondiabetic patients in the group as a whole and also in the potent and impotent subgroups analyzed separately. Neither diminished femoral pulses nor aortographic evidence of external iliac and common femoral arterial stenosis correlated significantly with impotence.

These observations indicate that vascular lesions are as important in diabetics as in nondiabetics in the genesis of impotence. Clinical implications regarding diagnostic investigations and treatment are discussed.

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