Erectile dysfunction in successfully treated lymphoma patients

Support Care Cancer. 2008 Mar;16(3):291-7. doi: 10.1007/s00520-007-0307-y. Epub 2007 Jul 28.


Background: Information on male potency in lymphoma survivors is insufficient. In this study, we assessed male sexual function and serum gonadotropins in successfully treated lymphoma patients.

Materials and methods: Fifty-nine patients treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) or non-HL (NHL) with chemotherapy +/- radiotherapy were included in the study.

Results: The mean age (+/-standard deviation) of the patients was 40.2 +/- 11.0 (range, 18-55 years). Thirty-eight (64.4%) had HL and 21 (35.6%) NHL. According to the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) score, 61.0% had some degree of erectile dysfunction (ED; IIEF score < 26): 33.9% had mild ED (IIEF score 17-25), 15.2% moderate ED (IIEF score 11-16), and 11.9% severe ED (IIEF score 6-10). Age distribution was similar in patients with ED and those with normal erectile function. Presence of ED and its grade were not different between HL and NHL patients. Nine (18.4%) of 49 patients had an elevated follicle-stimulating hormone, 7 (14.2%) had elevated luteinizing hormone, and 3 (6.1%) had decreased testosterone levels. These hormonal abnormalities did not affect the presence of ED and its severity.

Conclusions: Overall, 61.0% of men in our study had ED according to IIEF. Clinicians should be aware of this problem in lymphoma survivors and offer these patients adequate treatment options.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Erectile Dysfunction / epidemiology*
  • Gonadotropins / blood
  • Hodgkin Disease / drug therapy*
  • Hodgkin Disease / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / radiotherapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Gonadotropins