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Homocysteine, Erectile dysfunction, Skin care, and Blood sugar

August 2017

Erectile dysfunction

Male sexual dysfunction and infertility associated with neurological disorders.

Normal sexual and reproductive functions depend largely on neurological mechanisms. Neurological defects in men can cause infertility through erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory dysfunction and semen abnormalities. Among the major conditions contributing to these symptoms are pelvic and retroperitoneal surgery, diabetes, congenital spinal abnormalities, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury. Erectile dysfunction can be managed by an increasingly invasive range of treatments including medications, injection therapy and the surgical insertion of a penile implant. Retrograde ejaculation is managed by medications to reverse the condition in mild cases and in bladder harvest of semen after ejaculation in more severe cases. Anejaculation might also be managed by medication in mild cases while assisted ejaculatory techniques including penile vibratory stimulation and electroejaculation are used in more severe cases. If these measures fail, surgical sperm retrieval can be attempted. Ejaculation with penile vibratory stimulation can be done by some spinal cord injured men and their partners at home, followed by in-home insemination if circumstances and sperm quality are adequate. The other options always require assisted reproductive techniques including intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization with or without intracytoplasmic sperm injection. The method of choice depends largely on the number of motile sperm in the ejaculate.

Asian J Androl. 2012 Jan;14(1):61-8

Obesity, low testosterone levels and erectile dysfunction.

Obesity is an important risk factor for many common diseases including cardiovascular disease (CVD), type 2 diabetes, cancer and erectile dysfunction (ED). Adipose tissues produce a number of adipokines and cytokines, which affect endothelial and metabolic function resulting in insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome (risks factors for CVD). Both ED and metabolic syndrome improve with a reduction in body mass index (BMI). The relationships among obesity, metabolic syndrome, ED, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and serum total and free testosterone levels are complex and often confusing to the physician. It is known that BMI is inversely proportional to serum total testosterone concentrations; low serum SHBG levels in obesity contribute to the low serum total testosterone. Recent studies show that BMI is also inversely proportional to free testosterone concentration. The characteristic low serum testosterone concentrations observed in obese men are also present in men with the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus. A small proportion of men with ED have hypogonadism; however, the proportion increases if these men are obese with manifestations of the metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes mellitus. ED is a common symptom in patients with type 2 diabetes who also have low testosterone levels. This review describes the relationships between low serum testosterone concentrations and ED in obese patients and those with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Int J Impot Res. 2009 Mar-Apr;21(2):89-98

Antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction.

OBJECTIVE: To review the evidence regarding antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction and address implications for treatment strategy and health plan coverage policies for antidepressant medications. DATA SOURCES: Primary articles were identified by a MEDLINE and HealthSTAR search to identify English-language studies published between January 1986 and July 2000. Search terms included sexual dysfunction or sexual function and antidepressants, fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, fluvoxamine, citalopram, venlafaxine, nefazodone, bupropion, and mirtazapine. A cross-check of references cited in 10 published reviews yielded additional in-scope articles. STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: Approximately 200 articles were identified, including 8 randomized controlled trials and numerous open-label studies, case series, and case reports. Of the randomized controlled trials, only 5 were designed to evaluate the incidence of sexual dysfunction associated with antidepressant treatment. Three additional randomized controlled trials included a structured assessment of sexual dysfunction within an efficacy trial. Data extraction excluded case reports, letters, and other limited study designs. A panel survey augmented published reports. DATA SYNTHESIS: Sexual dysfunction is a relatively common adverse effect of many of the antidepressants in common use today. Rates of sexual dysfunction observed in clinical practice may be higher than those reported in the product information for several agents. Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) appear to be the class of antidepressants most likely to cause sexual dysfunction. Published studies suggest that between 30% and 60% of SSRI-treated patients may experience some form of treatment-induced sexual dysfunction. Bupropion and nefazodone appear to be much less likely to cause sexual dysfunction (<or=10% of patients). Mirtazapine also appears to be associated with a low rate of sexual adverse effects. Panel results largely reflect the consensus of the literature. CONCLUSIONS: Sexual dysfunction is a common adverse effect of antidepressant treatment. Physicians should monitor their patients for antidepressant-induced sexual adverse effects, as these may affect compliance with therapy and ultimate treatment success. In addition to the consequences for patient health and well-being, managed-care organizations should be concerned with sexually related adverse effects of antidepressants, insofar as additional healthcare resources may be required to treat depressed patients in whom these adverse effects arise.

Ann Pharmacother. 2002 Oct;36(10):1577-89

Sildenafil citrate for erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors: a retrospective analysis of pooled data from placebo-controlled trials.

Cardiovascular (CV) risk factors are associated with an increased risk of erectile dysfunction (ED). In men with diabetes mellitus (DM), pooled from clinical trials of sildenafil treatment for ED, this retrospective analysis determined efficacy and safety, overall and in subgroups with additional CV risk (i.e., hypertension, dyslipidemia, and smoking). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: From the manufacturer's database of worldwide research, 12-week data from men with DM were pooled from randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of flexible-dose sildenafil (25, 50, or 100 mg, PRN) for ED. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Question 3 (achieving an erection), question 4 (maintaining an erection), and the Erectile Function domain of the International Index of Erectile Function; percentage of successful intercourse attempts according to patient event logs; and response to a global efficacy question (GEQ). Differences between groups were determined using logistic regression (percentage of responders according to GEQ) and analysis of covariance (all other outcomes). RESULTS: Inclusion criteria were met by 11 trials and by 974 men with DM and ED who were randomized to placebo (n = 482) and sildenafil (n = 492) within the selected trials. For all outcomes, overall and regardless of additional CV risk, the benefit was greater for sildenafil versus placebo (p < or = 0.0001), including 3-fold more men responding that sildenafil treatment improved their erections (62% vs. 18%) and a more than doubling of the mean +/- standard error percentage of successful sexual intercourse attempts (52.6 +/- 5.0 vs. 22.4 +/- 5.1). Adverse events were mild to moderate and included (sildenafil vs. placebo) headache (5% vs. 2%), flushing (7% vs. 2%), and dyspepsia (4% vs. 0%), which is consistent with the profile in the general population of men treated with sildenafil for ED. CONCLUSION: This retrospective analysis of pooled data showed that sildenafil was well tolerated and improved erectile function and intercourse success in men with ED and DM, regardless of additional CV risk factors.

Curr Med Res Opin. 2006 Nov;22(11):2111-20

Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) and phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether a causative relationship exists between non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) and the use of phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. METHODS: A comprehensive review of the literature was performed to identify the contemporary understanding of NAION pathophysiology, epidemiology, and occurrence in men using the oral PDE-5 inhibitors sildenafil (Viagra, Pfizer), vardenafil (Levitra, Bayer AG), and tadalafil (Cialis, Lilly-ICOS LLC) for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. RESULTS: NAION is the second most common acquired optic neuropathy in men aged 50 years and older. Risk factors for NAION, cardiovascular disease, and erectile dysfunction are shared and include age, dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, and cigarette smoking. To date, less than 50 cases of NAION associated with PDE-5 use have been reported to the United State's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and five Canadian cases alerted to Health Canada. Given the large number of men safely using these agents and a limited number of events, it is not possible to determine whether NAION is directly linked to the use of PDE-5 inhibitors, underlying cardiovascular risk factors, ocular anatomical defects, a combination of these variables, or as yet unidentified factors. CONCLUSIONS: PDE-5 inhibitors have gained widespread use for the treatment of erectile dysfunction due to their safety, efficacy, and ease of use. Their role in the pathogenesis of NAION remains controversial. Reasonable and informed consent regarding the possible but low risk of NAION with the use of sildenafil, vardenafil and tadalafil is recommended. Loss or decreased vision, whether painful or painless, demands urgent patient assessment and immediate cessation of PDE-5 inhibitor use.

Can J Urol. 2006 Oct;13(5):3233-8.

Migraine can be induced by sildenafil without changes in middle cerebral artery diameter.

Migraine is considered a neurovascular disease involving dilatation of cerebral arteries. Nitric oxide (NO) donors induce dilatation of cerebral and extracranial arteries and migraine, but NO has several mechanisms of action in addition to its cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-mediated vasodilatation. We examined whether sildenafil (Viagra), a selective inhibitor of cGMP-hydrolysing phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5), which acts exclusively by increasing cGMP, can induce migraine and dilatation of cerebral arteries. We included 12 patients with migraine without aura in this double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, in which placebo or sildenafil 100 mg was administered orally on two separate days. Blood flow velocity in the middle cerebral artery (V(mca)) was recorded by transcranial Doppler ultrasonography and regional cerebral blood flow in the territory of the middle cerebral artery (rCBF(mca)) was measured using SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) and xenon 133 inhalation. Radial and temporal artery diameters were studied using high-frequency ultrasonography. Headache response, tenderness of pericranial muscles, blood pressure and heart rate were measured repeatedly. We found that migraine attack was induced by sildenafil in 10 of 12 migraine patients and by placebo in two of 12 patients (P = 0.01). V(mca) (P = 0.1) and rCBF(mca) (P = 0.93) remained unchanged after sildenafil. Temporal (P = 0.47) and radial (P = 0.87) artery diameter and pericranial tenderness (P = 0.16) were unaffected by sildenafil. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures were unchanged but heart rate increased from a mean of 62 +/- 2 to 74 +/- 3 beats/min (P = 0.01) after sildenafil. Our results demonstrate that migraine may be induced via a cGMP-dependent mechanism, and we show for the first time that this occurs without initial dilatation of the middle cerebral artery. We propose that triggering mechanisms may reside within the perivascular sensory nerve terminals or the brainstem. However, other sites of action may also be possible and future studies are needed to elucidate this. In the clinical use of sildenafil, patients who have migraine should be informed about the risk of migraine attacks.

Brain. 2003 Jan;126(Pt 1):241-7

Erectile dysfunction severity as a risk marker for cardiovascular disease hospitalisation and all-cause mortality: a prospective cohort study.

BACKGROUND: Erectile dysfunction is an emerging risk marker for future cardiovascular disease (CVD) events; however, evidence on dose response and specific CVD outcomes is limited. This study investigates the relationship between severity of erectile dysfunction and specific CVD outcomes. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a prospective population-based Australian study (the 45 and Up Study) linking questionnaire data from 2006-2009 with hospitalisation and death data to 30 June and 31 Dec 2010 respectively for 95,038 men aged ≥45 y. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the relationship of reported severity of erectile dysfunction to all-cause mortality and first CVD-related hospitalisation since baseline in men with and without previous CVD, adjusting for age, smoking, alcohol consumption, marital status, income, education, physical activity, body mass index, diabetes, and hypertension and/or hypercholesterolaemia treatment. There were 7,855 incident admissions for CVD and 2,304 deaths during follow-up (mean time from recruitment, 2.2 y for CVD admission and 2.8 y for mortality). Risks of CVD and death increased steadily with severity of erectile dysfunction. Among men without previous CVD, those with severe versus no erectile dysfunction had significantly increased risks of ischaemic heart disease (adjusted relative risk [RR] = 1.60, 95% CI 1.31-1.95), heart failure (8.00, 2.64-24.2), peripheral vascular disease (1.92, 1.12-3.29), "other" CVD (1.26, 1.05-1.51), all CVD combined (1.35, 1.19-1.53), and all-cause mortality (1.93, 1.52-2.44). For men with previous CVD, corresponding RRs (95% CI) were 1.70 (1.46-1.98), 4.40 (2.64-7.33), 2.46 (1.63-3.70), 1.40 (1.21-1.63), 1.64 (1.48-1.81), and 2.37 (1.87-3.01), respectively. Among men without previous CVD, RRs of more specific CVDs increased significantly with severe versus no erectile dysfunction, including acute myocardial infarction (1.66, 1.22-2.26), atrioventricular and left bundle branch block (6.62, 1.86-23.56), and (peripheral) atherosclerosis (2.47, 1.18-5.15), with no significant difference in risk for conditions such as primary hypertension (0.61, 0.16-2.35) and intracerebral haemorrhage (0.78, 0.20-2.97). CONCLUSIONS: These findings give support for CVD risk assessment in men with erectile dysfunction who have not already undergone assessment. The utility of erectile dysfunction as a clinical risk prediction tool requires specific testing.

PLoS Med. 2013;10(1):e1001372.

Clinical assessment of a supplement of Pycnogenol® and L-arginine in Japanese patients with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction.

A double-blind parallel group comparison design clinical study was conducted in Japanese patients with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction to investigate the efficacy of a supplement containing Pycnogenol® and L-arginine. Subjects were instructed to take a supplement (Pycnogenol® 60 mg/day, L-arginine 690 mg/day and aspartic acid 552 mg/day) or an identical placebo for 8 weeks, and the results were assessed using the five-item erectile domain (IIEF-5) of the International Index of Erectile Function. Additionally, blood biochemistry, urinalysis and salivary testosterone were measured. Eight weeks of supplement intake improved the total score of the IIEF-5. In particular, a marked improvement was observed in 'hardness of erection' and 'satisfaction with sexual intercourse'. A decrease in blood pressure, aspartate transaminase and g-glutamyl transpeptidase (g-GTP), and a slight increase in salivary testosterone were observed in the supplement group. No adverse reactions were observed during the study period. In conclusion, Pycnogenol® in combination with L-arginine as a dietary supplement is effective and safe in Japanese patients with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction.

Phytother Res. 2012 Feb;26(2):204-7

Levels of l-arginine and l-citrulline in patients with erectile dysfunction of different etiology.

Nitric oxide is a physiologic signal essential to penile erection. l-citrulline (l-Cit) is converted into l-arginine (l-Arg), the precursor from which nitric oxide is generated. The level of l-Arg and l-Cit in the field of male sexual function remains relatively underexplored. The aim of the study was to evaluate the level of serum l-Arg and of l-Cit in a group of patients with erectile dysfunction. Diagnosis and severity of erectile dysfunction was based on the IIEF-5 and its etiology was classified as arteriogenic (A-ED), borderline (BL-ED), and non-arteriogenic (NA-ED) with penile echo-color-Doppler in basal condition and after intracaversous injection of prostaglandin E1. Serum l-Arg and l-Cit concentrations were measured by a cation-exchange chromatography system. l-Arg and l-Cit levels of men with A-ED were compared with those of male with BL-ED and NA-ED. Median level of l-Arg and l-Cit in 122 erectile dysfunction patients (41 A-ED, 23 ED-BL, 58 NA-ED) was 82.7 and 35.4 µmol/L, respectively. l-Arg and l-Cit levels in control patients were not significantly different (p = 0.233 and p = 0.561, respectively) than in total erectile dysfunction patients. l-Arg and l-Cit levels in control patients were significantly higher (p < 0.001 and p < 0.018, respectively) than in A-ED patients, but no difference (p > 0.50) was observed in controls and in both BL-ED and NA-ED patients. Patients with severe/complete-erectile dysfunction (IIEF-5 < 10) had l-Arg or l-Cit level significantly lower (-17%, p < 0.03; -13%, p < 0.04) and were more frequent (p < 0.01 and p < 0.04) under the respective median level (82.7 and 35.4 µmol/L) than those with mild-erectile dysfunction (IIEF-5 = 16-20). l-Arg and l-Cit levels in A-ED were significantly lower (p < 0.007 and p < 0.001, respectively) than in NA-ED patients. Penile echo-color-Doppler revealed that A-ED (peak systolic velocity ≤ 25 cm/sec) was more frequent in men with l-Arg under 82.7 µmol/L or l-Cit under 35.4 µmol/L and in the same population, the median peak systolic velocity values were lower in l-Arg deficient (29 vs. 35; p < 0.04) and also in l-Cit deficient (31 vs. 33, p > 0.3) but without reaching the statistical significance. Our study shows that a significant proportion of erectile dysfunction patients have low l-Arg or l-Cit level and that this condition is more frequent in patients with arteriogenic etiology. Low levels of these nitric oxide synthase substrates might increase the erectile dysfunction risk by reducing the concentration of nitric oxide.

Andrology. 2017 Mar;5(2):256-261