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BMC Urol. 2014 Jul 5;14:52. doi: 10.1186/1471-2490-14-52.

Comparison of the simplified International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) in patients of erectile dysfunction with different pathophysiologies.

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Department of Urology, The Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China.



The simplified International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) is a convenient, reliable and validated diagnostic tool for erectile dysfunction (ED). However, few studies focused on IIEF-5 in ED patients with different pathophysiological causes. ,We aim to compare the IIEF-5 score among ED patients with specific pathophysiologies in this study.


The IIEF-5 score of 3,327 ED patients (median age 39 years) was analyzed. The primary causes of ED were determined by comprehensive diagnostic procedures in the urology/andrology clinics in five training hospitals. Patients with uncertain pathophysiologic cause were excluded.


176 patients were excluded, 3151 patients with ED history between 0.5 year and 20 years, were enrolled. The causes of ED was classified as psychogenic (59.2%), vasoculogenic (21.3%), neurogenic (4.1%), anatomical/structural (2.8%), hormonal (7.1%) or drug-induced (5.5%). A significant difference was detected in the median IIEF-5 score between psychogenic ED and organic ED (15 (IQR 13, 17) versus 12 (IQR 9.5, 14.5), P < 0.001). There was no significant difference of IIEF-5 scores among the organic groups (P = 0.073), or between arteriogenic and venogenic groups (13 (IQR 10.5, 15.5) versus 13 (IQR 11-15), P = 0.912 (adjusted α = 0.017)). However, the median IIEF-5 score of those with a mixed vascular cause was the lowest among vasculogenic patients (11 (IQR 8.5-13.5), scores for the three groups: P = 0.003.).


The IIEF-5 scores of men with psychological ED are higher than those with organic causes, but there is no difference among patients with different organic pathophysiologies. Our data indicate that IIEF-5 is not a definitive diagnostic tool to discriminate the pathophysiological causes of ED.

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