Dehydroepiandrosterone in the treatment of erectile dysfunction in patients with different organic etiologies
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In 1994 the Massachusetts Male Aging Study described an inverse correlation of the serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) and the incidence of erectile dysfunction (ED). The positive results of a pilot study in the treatment in patients with no organic etiology prompted a detailed investigation on the efficacy of DHEA therapy for ED in patients with different organic etiologies, in a prospective study. The inclusion criteria included ED, a normal physical condition, normal serum levels of testosterone, prolactin and PSA and a serum DHEAS level <1.5 µmol/l. The study patients comprised 27 patients (group 1) with hypertension, 24 patients (group 2) with diabetes mellitus, six patients with neurological disorders (group 3) and 28 patients (group 4) with no organic etiology were treated with 50 mg DHEA p.o. for 6 months. We assessed efficacy by using the responses to question 3 (frequency of penetration) and question 4 (maintenance of erections after penetration) of the 15-question International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF). DHEA treatment was associated with statistically significantly higher mean scores compared to baseline values for question 3 and question 4 of the IIEF in groups 1 and 4 after a period of 24 weeks. The differences between the mean scores of groups 2 and 3 and the baseline values were not statistically significant. Our results suggest that oral DHEA-treatment may be of benefit to patients with ED who have hypertension or to patients with ED without organic etiology. There was no impact of DHEA therapy on patients with diabetes mellitus or with neurological disorders.
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