Estradiol-Testosterone Imbalance Is Associated with Erectile Dysfunction in Patients with Klinefelter Syndrome

J Clin Med. 2021 May 26;10(11):2319. doi: 10.3390/jcm10112319.


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a frequent sexual disorder in adult men. Klinefelter syndrome (KS) is the most common sex chromosomal disorder and a frequent cause of male hypogonadism. Psychological and cognitive aspects are quite typical in KS and have been linked to ED, while the role of testosterone (T) levels in sexual function of KS subjects has not been fully elucidated. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the role of hormonal disturbances in erectile function of subjects with KS. We conducted a retrospective study involving 52 Klinefelter patients newly diagnosed who never received androgen replacing therapy. All the subjects underwent medical history, accurate physical examination, and blood tests. The International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire (IIEF-EF) score correlated negatively with estradiol/testosterone ratio (E2/T); this correlation remained statistically significant after correction for age (ρ -0.320 p = 0.018). A multiple linear regression analysis identified age and E2/T as the main predictors of IIEF-EF score (R2 0.169 F = 3.848 p = 0.008). Our findings corroborate previous KS data obtained in the general population showing an association between higher E2/T ratio and impaired erectile function. Larger studies are required to better elucidate the pathophysiology of ED in patients with KS.

Keywords: Klinefelter syndrome; erectile dysfunction; estradiol; hypogonadism; testosterone.