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Erectile dysfunction after sickle cell disease-associated recurrent ischemic priapism: profile and risk factors.

INTRODUCTION: Risk factors associated with erectile dysfunction (ED) that results from recurrent ischemic priapism (RIP) in sickle cell disease (SCD) are incompletely defined.

AIM: This study aims to determine and compare ED risk factors associated with SCD and non-SCD-related "minor" RIP, defined as having ≥2 episodes of ischemic priapism within the past 6 months, with the majority (>75%) of episodes lasting <5 hours.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective study of RIP in SCD and non-SCD patients presenting from June 2004 to March 2014 using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF), IIEF-5, and priapism-specific questionnaires.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence rates and risk factor correlations for ED associated with RIP.

RESULTS: The study was comprised of 59 patients (40 SCD [mean age 28.2 ± 8.9 years] and 19 non-SCD [15 idiopathic and four drug-related etiologies] [mean age 32.6 ± 11.7 years]). Nineteen of 40 (47.5%) SCD patients vs. four of 19 (21.1%) non-SCD patients (39% overall) had ED (IIEF <26 or IIEF-5 <22) (P = 0.052). SCD patients had a longer mean time-length with RIP than non-SCD patients (P = 0.004). Thirty of 40 (75%) SCD patients vs. 10 of 19 (52.6%) non-SCD patients (P = 0.14) had "very minor" RIP (episodes regularly lasting ≤2 hours). Twenty-eight of 40 (70%) SCD patients vs. 14 of 19 (73.7%) non-SCD patients had weekly or more frequent episodes (P = 1). Of all patients with very minor RIP, ED was found among 14 of 30 (46.7%) SCD patients vs. none of 10 (0%) non-SCD patients (P = 0.008). Using logistic regression analysis, the odds ratio for developing ED was 4.7 for SCD patients, when controlling for RIP variables (95% confidence interval: 1.1-21.0).

CONCLUSIONS: ED is associated with RIP, occurring in nearly 40% of affected individuals overall. SCD patients are more likely to experience ED in the setting of "very minor" RIP episodes and are five times more likely to develop ED compared with non-SCD patients.

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