Laboratory evaluations of erectile dysfunction: an evidence based approach

J Urol. 2003 Jun;169(6):2262-4. doi: 10.1097/01.ju.0000063940.19080.58.


Purpose: We evaluate the prevalence of laboratory abnormalities in men presenting for initial evaluation and therapy of erectile dysfunction.

Materials and methods: The computerized charts of men receiving treatment for erectile dysfunction from 1987 to 2002 were retrospectively reviewed. We pooled laboratory data for 3,547 men with erectile dysfunction to assess the prevalence of laboratory abnormalities. Values of the common laboratory screening tests for erectile dysfunction were recorded for testosterone, prolactin, luteinizing hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone, hemoglobin A(Ic), prostate specific antigen, hemoglobin, cholesterol and creatinine.

Results: Of those patients evaluated 18.7% had low testosterone, 4.6% had increased prolactin, 14.6% had abnormal luteinizing hormone, 4.0% had increased thyroid-stimulating hormone, 8.3% had increased prostate specific antigen, 26.5% had anemia and 11.9% tested had renal insufficiency. A high percentage of patients presenting with a primary complaint of erectile dysfunction had increased hemoglobin A(Ic) and total serum cholesterol levels (52.9% and 48.4%, respectively).

Conclusions: An evidence based approach to standardization of laboratory evaluations for men presenting with erectile dysfunction is recommended. Laboratory screening should be directed to identify those risk factors that may benefit from lifestyle modification and pharmacological intervention.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Chemical Analysis*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Erectile Dysfunction / blood
  • Erectile Dysfunction / diagnosis*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis
  • Gonadotropins, Pituitary / blood
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Thyrotropin / blood


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Gonadotropins, Pituitary
  • Testosterone
  • Thyrotropin
  • Cholesterol
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen