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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Severe erectile dysfunction is a marker for hyperprolactinemia.

The need for routine prolactin ( PRL) measurement in the initial evaluation of erectile dysfunction (ED) has been questioned because of the low rate of hyperprolactinemia (HP) in these men and the costs involved. In addition, it is widely thought that sexual desire problems are a good clinical marker for HP and/or low testosterone in men with ED. Within a 15-month period, 844 consecutive PRL and sexual hormone determinations were conducted in men at the Kingston General Hospital. Of these patients, 138 were comprehensively evaluated at the first visit for ED and completed the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF). In the 138 patients, 2.2% had severe hyperprolactinemia (>35 ng/ml), within the range of 1-5% previously reported. No correlation between initial prolactin value and the sexual desire domain or the erectile function domain (EFD) of the IIEF was found for this population. However, all cases of severe HP were found to occur in men who scored less than 10 in the EFD of the IIEF. Low libido is widely accepted as a marker of HP. In this study, HP was found in patients not reporting major problems with a desire disorder. Clinically significant HP may be reliably found with routine biochemical evaluation and in this series was not detected in patients with EFD scores above 10. A routine PRL measurement is inexpensive and early detection of a serious and treatable disease may afford greater therapeutic success.[1]


  1. Severe erectile dysfunction is a marker for hyperprolactinemia. Johri, A.M., Heaton, J.P., Morales, A. Int. J. Impot. Res. (2001) [Pubmed]
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