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J Diabetes Complications. 2011 Mar-Apr;25(2):129-36. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2010.03.003. Epub 2010 May 11.

Diabetes-induced erectile dysfunction: epidemiology, pathophysiology and management.

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Department of Pharmacology, AISSMS College of Pharmacy, Near R.T.O., Pune-411 001, India.


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability of the male to attain and maintain erection of penis sufficient to permit satisfactory sexual intercourse. Prevalence of impotence in diabetic men is ≥50%. The pathophysiology of diabetes-induced erectile dysfunction (DIED) is multifactorial and no single etiology is at the forefront. The proposed mechanisms of erectile dysfunction in diabetic patients includes elevated advanced glycation end-products, increased levels of oxygen free radicals, impaired nitric oxide synthesis, increased endothelin B receptor binding sites and up-regulated RhoA/Rho-kinase pathway, neuropathic damage and impaired cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-dependent protein kinase-1. The treatment of DIED is multimodal. Treatment of the underlying hyperglycemia and comorbidities is of utmost importance to prevent or halt the progression of disease. Oral medications are considered as the first line therapy for management of DIED. If oral agents cannot be used or have insufficient efficacy despite appropriate dosing and education, second-line treatments should be addressed. When there is lack of efficacy or when there is dissatisfaction with other modalities, penile prostheses are often the best alternative for ED and are considered as the third line therapy for DIED. Future strategies in the evolution of the treatment of DIED are aimed at correcting or treating the underlying mechanisms of DIED.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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