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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 35

of 'Treatment of male sexual dysfunction'

Treatment of erectile dysfunction after radical prostatectomy with sildenafil citrate (Viagra).
Zippe CD, Kedia AW, Kedia K, Nelson DR, Agarwal A
Urology. 1998;52(6):963.
OBJECTIVES: To determine whether the response to the new oral medication, sildenafil citrate (Viagra), was influenced by the presence or absence of the neurovascular bundles, as recent reports on its success did not specify the efficacy of the drug in patients with erectile dysfunction after radical prostatectomy.
METHODS: Baseline and follow-up data from 28 healthy patients presenting with erectile dysfunction after radical prostatectomy were obtained. Patients receiving any neoadjuvant/adjuvant hormones or adjuvant radiation therapy were excluded. Patients reported what their erectile status was before surgery, before sildenafil therapy, and after using a minimum of four doses of sildenafil. Both the patients and their spouses were interviewed using the Cleveland Clinic post-prostatectomy questionnaire, which includes questions about response to therapy, duration of intercourse, spousal satisfaction, side effects, and related topics. The patients were compared on the basis of the type of surgical procedure they had undergone-nerve sparing or non-nerve sparing. A positive response to sildenafil was defined as erection sufficient for vaginal penetration.
RESULTS: Of the 15 patients who had bilateral nerve-sparing procedures, 12 (80%) had a positive response to sildenafil, with a mean duration of 6.92 minutes of vaginal intercourse. These 12 patients also reported a spousal satisfaction rate of 80%. All 12 of the responders had a positive response within the first three doses, and 10 of the 12 responded with the first or second dose. None of the 3 patients who had undergone a unilateral nerve-sparing procedure responded, nor did any of the 10 patients who had undergone a non-nerve-sparing procedure. The two most common side effects of the drug were transient headaches (39%) and abnormal color vision (11%). No patients discontinued the medication because of side effects.
CONCLUSIONS: Successful treatment of erectile dysfunction in a patient after prostatectomy with sildenafil citrate may depend on the presence of bilateral neurovascular bundles. No patient who had undergone a non-nerve-sparing procedure responded. Whether patients who undergo unilateral nerve-sparing procedures will respond to sildenafil is still unclear because of the small number of patients in our study. These findings should encourage urologists to continue to perform and perfect the nerve-sparing approach. The ability to restore potency with an oral medication after radical prostatectomy will impact our discussion with the patient on the surgical morbidity of radical prostatectomy.
Department of Urology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio 44195, USA.