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J Sex Med. 2009 Sep;6(9):2538-46. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01351.x. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

Erectile function recovery rate after radical prostatectomy: a meta-analysis.

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Male Sexual & Reproductive Medicine Program, Urology Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA.



Erectile function recovery (EFR) rates after radical prostatectomy (RP) vary greatly based on a number of factors, such as erectile dysfunction (ED) definition, data acquisition means, time-point postsurgery, and population studied.


To conduct a meta-analysis of carefully selected reports from the available literature to define the EFR rate post-RP.


EFR rate after RP.


An EMBASE and MEDLINE search was conducted for the time range 1985-2007. Articles were assessed blindly by strict inclusion criteria: report of EFR data post-RP, study population >or=50 patients, >or=1 year follow-up, nerve-sparing status declared, no presurgery ED, and no other prostate cancer therapy. Meta-analysis was conducted to determine the EFR rate and relative risks (RR) for dichotomous subgroups.


A total of 212 relevant studies were identified; only 22 (10%) met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed (9,965 RPs, EFR data: 4,983 subjects). Mean study population size: 226.5, standard deviation = 384.1 (range: 17-1,834). Overall EFR rate was 58%. Single center series publications (k = 19) reported a higher EFR rate compared with multicenter series publications (k = 3): 60% vs. 33%, RR = 1.82, P = 0.001. Studies reporting >or=18-month follow-up (k = 10) reported higher EFR rate vs. studies with <18-month follow-up (k = 12), 60% vs. 56%, RR = 1.07, P = 0.02. Open RP (k = 16) and laparoscopic RP (k = 4) had similar EFR (57% vs. 58%), while robot-assisted RP resulted in a higher EFR rate (k = 2), 73% compared with these other approaches, P = 0.001. Patients <60 years old had a higher EFR rate vs. patients >or=60 years, 77% vs. 61%, RR = 1.26, P = 0.001.


These data indicate that most of the published literature does not meet strict criteria for reporting post-RP EFR. Single and multiple surgeon series have comparable EFR rates, but single center studies have a higher EFR. Younger men have higher EFR and no significant difference in EFR between ORP and LRP is evident.

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