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Lupus. 2011 Apr;20(5):512-8. doi: 10.1177/0961203310384121. Epub 2011 Jan 31.

Penile anthropometry in systemic lupus erythematosus patients.

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  • 1Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


The aim of this study was to evaluate penile anthropometry in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients compared with healthy controls and the possible relevant pubertal, clinical, hormonal and treatment factors that could influence penile dimensions. Twenty-five consecutive SLE patients were assessed by urological examination, sexual function, testicular ultrasound, hormones, sperm analysis, genetic analysis, clinical features and treatment. The control group included 25 age-matched healthy males. SLE patients had a lower median penis length and circumference [8 (7.5-10) vs. 10 (8-13) cm, p = 0.0001; 8 (7-10) vs. 10 (7-11) cm, p = 0.001; respectively], lower median testicular volume by right and left Prader [15 (10-25) vs. 20 (12-25) ml, p = 0.003; 15 (10-25) vs. 20 (12-25) ml, p = 0.006; respectively], higher median of follicle-stimulating hormone [5.8 (2.1-25) vs. 3.3 (1.9-9) IU/l, p = 0.002] and lower morning total testosterone levels (28% vs. 0%, p = 0.009) compared with controls. In spite of that, erectile dysfunction was not observed in patients or controls. Analyses of lupus patients revealed that the median penis circumference was lower in patients with disease onset before first ejaculation compared with those with disease onset after first ejaculation [7.8 (7-10) vs. 9.0 (7.5-10) cm, p = 0.026]. No differences were observed in the median penile anthropometry regarding sexual dysfunction (p = 0.610), lower morning total testosterone levels (p = 0.662), oligo/azoospermia (p = 0.705), SLE Disease Activity Index ≥ 4 (p = 0.562), Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/ACR Damage Index ≥ 1 (p = 0.478), prednisone cumulative dose (p = 0.789) and intravenous cyclophosphamide therapy (p = 0.754). Klinefelteŕs syndrome (46XY/47XXY) was diagnosed in one (4%) SLE patient with decreased penile size whereas Y-chromosomal microdeletions was absent in all of them. In conclusion, we have identified reduced penile dimensions in SLE patients with no deleterious effect in erectile function. Disease onset before first ejaculation seems to affect penis development in pre-pubertal lupus.

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