Effect of Prostate Artery Embolization on Erectile Function - A Single Center Experience of 167 Patients

J Sex Med. 2022 Apr;19(4):594-602. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2022.01.006. Epub 2022 Feb 17.


Background: Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is an emerging therapy for lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Aim: This retrospective study was conducted to assess the effect of prostate artery embolization (PAE) on erectile function in a cohort of patients with LUTS attributable to BPH at 3-months after the procedure.

Methods: A retrospective review was performed on 167 patients who underwent PAE. Data collected included Sexual Health Inventory in Men (SHIM) scores at 3, 6, and 12 months post-PAE, in conjunction with the International Prostate Symptom Scores (IPSS), Quality of Life (QoL) scores, and prostate volumes. Primary outcome was erectile function as assessed by SHIM scores at 3 months after PAE. An analysis was performed to identify patients with a ±5-point SHIM change to group them according to this minimum clinically significant difference in erectile function. Adverse events were recorded using the Clavien-Dindo (CD) classification.

Outcomes: At 3 months following PAE, median IPSS decreased by 16.0 [IQR, 9.0-22.0] points, median QOL decreased by 4.0 [IQR, 2.0-5.0] points, and median prostate volume decreased by 33 g [IQR, 14-55].

Results: Median SHIM score was 17.0 [IQR, 12.0-22.0] at baseline, 18.0 [IQR, 14.0-23.0] at 3 months [P = .031], 19.0 [IQR, 14.5-21.5] at 6 months [P = .106] and 20 [IQR, 16.0-24.0] at 12 months [P = .010] following PAE. In patients with no erectile dysfunction (ED) at baseline, 21% (n = 9) reported some degree of decline in erectile function post-PAE. However, 38% (n = 40) of patients who presented with mild-to-moderate ED reported improvement in their erectile function 3 months following PAE. Overall, the changes in baseline SHIM score were relatively small; 82% (n = 137) of patients did not have more than 5 points of change in their SHIM scores at 3 months following PAE.

Clinical implications: Our findings suggest PAE has no adverse impact on erectile function for most patients.

Strengths & limitations: The study was performed at a single center with 1 operator's experience, and is retrospective with no control group.

Conclusion: Findings suggest that prostate artery embolization has no adverse effect on erectile function in the majority of patients with LUTS attributable to BPH at 3 months after the procedure. Bhatia S, Acharya V, Jalaeian H, et al., Effect of Prostate Artery Embolization on Erectile Function - A Single Center Experience of 167 Patients. J Sex Med 2022;19:594-602.

Keywords: BPH; Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia; Erectile Function; PAE; Prostate Artery Embolization; Sexual Health.

MeSH terms

  • Arteries
  • Erectile Dysfunction* / complications
  • Erectile Dysfunction* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms* / complications
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms* / therapy
  • Male
  • Prostate
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia* / complications
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia* / therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome