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Int J Impot Res. 2004 Apr;16(2):143-5.

Clinical and sonographic assessment of the side effects of intracavernous injection of vasoactive substances.

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Department of Andrology, Sexology and STDs, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.


The objective of this study is to evaluate the side effects of intracavernous vasoactive agents on clinical and sonographic basis. Two groups of patients were included, group I included 168 ED patients trained on self-injection therapy using one of the three protocols. Protocol A: papaverine; protocol B: PGE1; and protocol C: trimix (papaverine, phentolamine and PGE1). Patients were followed up clinically, sonographically and by laboratory investigations for 6 months to evaluate the occurrence of side effects. Group II included 21 patients presenting to our department for the first time with a complication of intracavernous injection pharmacotherapy (ICI) initiated elsewhere. In all, 168 patients of group I completed the study. Patients on papaverine had the highest incidence of complications concerning prolonged erection, subcutaneous hematoma and penile fibrosis. Postinjection penile pain was observed more with groups B and C than group A. No systemic side effects were reported. Duplex ultrasound was beneficial in detecting mild clinically impalpable fibrosis. In total, 10 patients of group II presented with prolonged erection, seven with penile fibrosis, three with cavernositis and one with intracavernous needle breakage. We conclude that although ICI therapy is an effective second-line treatment option, patients on a self-injection program should be followed up both clinically and sonographically both at the initiation phase and on regular follow-up visits.

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