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PLoS One. 2014 Mar 11;9(3):e91327. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091327. eCollection 2014.

Systematic review and meta-analysis of the use of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors for treatment of erectile dysfunction following bilateral nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan city, Hubei province, P. R. China.
  • 2Department of Cardiology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan city, Hubei province, P. R. China.
  • 3Department of Anesthesiology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan city, Hubei province, P. R. China.


Prostate cancer is relatively common cancer occurring in males. Radical prostatectomy (RP) is the most effective treatment for a localized tumor but erectile dysfunction (ED) is common complication, even when bilateral nerve-sparing RP (BNSRP) is performed. Clinical trials have shown varied effectiveness of phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors (PDE5-Is) for treatment of post-BNSRP ED, but there remains controversy over the application of this treatment and no formal systematic review and meta-analysis for the use of PDE5-Is for this condition has been conducted. This review was to systematically assess the efficacy and safety of oral PDE5-Is for post-BNSRP ED. A database search was conducted to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The comparative efficacy of treatments was analyzed by fixed or random effect modeling. Erectile function was measured using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF), Sexual Encounter Profile (SEP) question-2, 3 and the Global Assessment Question (GAQ). The rate and incidence of adverse events (AEs) were determined. The quality of included studies was appraised using the Cochrane Collaboration bias appraisal tool. Eight RCTs were included in the analyses. PDE5-Is were effective for treating post-BNSRP ED compared to placebo when erectile function was determined using the IIEF score [mean difference (MD) 5.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) (4.26-6.99)], SEP-2 [relative risk (RR) 1.63, 95% CI (1.18-2.25) ], SEP-3 [RR 2.00, 95% CI (1.27-3.15) ] and GAQ [RR 3.35, 95% CI (2.68-4.67) ]. The subgroup analysis could find a trend that longer treatment duration, higher dosage, on-demand dosing, sildenafil and mild ED are associated with more responsiveness to PDE5-Is. PDE5-Is were overall well tolerated with headache being the most commonly reported AE. Our data provides compelling evidence for the use of PDE5-Is as a primary treatment for post-BNSRP ED. However, further studies are required to optomize usage parameters (such as dosage and duration of treatment).

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