Erectile Function Outcome Reporting After Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer Treatment

Arthur L. Burnett, Gunnar Aus, Edith D. Canby-Hagino, Michael S. Cookson, Anthony V. D'Amico, Roger R. Dmochowski, David T. Eton, Jeffrey D. Forman, S. Larry Goldenberg, Javier Hernandez, Celestia S. Higano, Stephen Kraus, Monica Liebert, Judd W. Moul, Catherine Tangen, J. Brantley Thrasher, Ian Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Scopus citations


Purpose: In conjunction with the assignment to update the Guidelines for Management of Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer, the American Urological Association Prostate Cancer Guideline Update Panel performed a side analysis of the reporting of erectile function outcomes in this clinical context as published in the medical literature. Materials and Methods: Four National Library of Medicine PubMed® Services literature searches targeting articles published from 1991 through early 2004 were done to derive outcome reporting (efficacy or side effects) for the treatment of clinical stage T1 or T2 N0M0 prostate cancer. A database was constructed containing descriptions relating to erectile function as well as numerical frequency rates of complete erectile dysfunction, and partial and intact erectile function for various treatments. A literature review was also done, consisting of a PubMed Services search of current measures and protocols used for assessing erectile function outcomes and a survey of consensus opinion sources on the management of male sexual dysfunctions. Results: Based on inclusion criteria 436 articles were selected. Of these articles database extraction from 100 pertaining to radical prostatectomy garnered various characterizations of erectile function, including qualitative descriptions, generic terminology and rating systems. Database extraction from 31 articles, in which results for at least 50 patients were reported, yielded ranges of rates for complete erectile dysfunction, partial erectile function and intact erectile function that were 26% to 100%, 16% to 48% and 9% to 86% for radical prostatectomy, 8% to 85%, 21% to 47% and 36% to 63% for external beam radiation, and 14% to 61%, 21% and 18% for interstitial radiation, respectively. The literature review showed an evolution in standards for studying and reporting erectile function outcomes. Conclusions: Clinical studies reporting erectile function outcomes after localized prostate cancer treatment often demonstrate poorly interpretable and inconsistent manners of assessment as well as widely disparate rates of erectile dysfunction and erectile function. Future studies must apply scientifically rigorous methodology and standard outcomes measures to advance this field of study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-601
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • impotence
  • penis
  • prostate
  • prostatic neoplasms
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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