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J Diabetes Complications. 2017 Jan;31(1):108-113. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2016.10.026. Epub 2016 Oct 29.

Skin autofluorescence (a marker for advanced glycation end products) and erectile dysfunction in diabetes.

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Department of Nutrition, AP-HP, Hôpital Maritime de Berck, F-62600 Berck, France; Department of Endocrinology-Nutrition, University of Picardie Jules Verne, F-80054 Amiens, France. Electronic address:
Department of Endocrinology-Nutrition, University of Picardie Jules Verne, F-80054 Amiens, France.
Department of Psychiatry, Univ. Lille, CNRS, CHU de Lille, UMR9193-PsychiC-SCALab, F-59000 Lille, France.
Department of Psychiatry, Erasme Hospital, ULB, B-1070 Brussels, Belgium.



Although diabetes-related erectile dysfunction (ED) has many etiological factors, little is known about the putative pathophysiological role of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Skin autofluorescence is a noninvasive marker of AGEs. Recent studies have evidenced a relationship between skin autofluorescence and several complications of diabetes. We hypothesized that AGEs (assessed by skin autofluorescence) are associated with ED in diabetes patients.


Between March 2014 and April 2015, 42 patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and 44 patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) were consecutively enrolled in a descriptive, cross-sectional study and compared to 54 healthy controls. ED was evaluated via the 5-item version of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5). Skin autofluorescence was measured on the volar aspect of the arm with an AGE-Reader.


Patients with diabetes had a mean±standard deviation age of 50±15 and a mean duration of diabetes of 16±12years. Skin autofluorescence was strongly and significantly correlated with the IIEF-5 score in the T1D subgroup (r=-0.52; P=0.004), the T2D subgroup (r=-0.32; P<0.03) and in the whole group of diabetic patients (r=-0.49; P<0.0001). In multivariate analyses that controlled for potentially confounding clinical and biochemical factors, only skin autofluorescence was still significantly correlated with the IIEF-5 score (P<0.0001). A receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that a skin autofluorescence value ≥3.2AU determined severe ED with a sensitivity of 60% and a specificity of 87% in diabetic patients.


Skin autofluorescence is significantly associated with ED in diabetes, independently of classical confounding factors.


Advanced glycation end product; Cardiovascular risk; Diabetes; Erectile dysfunction; Microangiopathy; Skin autofluorescence

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