Purpose: The American Urological Association convened the Clinical Guidelines Panel on Erectile Dysfunction to analyze the literature regarding available methods for treating organic erectile dysfunction and to make practice recommendations based on the treatment outcomes data.
Materials and methods: The panel searched the MEDLINE data base for all articles from 1979 through 1994 on treatment of organic erectile dysfunction and meta-analyzed outcomes data for oral drug therapy (yohimbine), vacuum constriction devices, vasoactive drug injection therapy, penile prosthesis implantation and venous and arterial surgery.
Results: Estimated probabilities of desirable outcomes are relatively high for vacuum constriction devices, vasoactive drug injection therapy and penile prosthesis therapy. However, patients must be aware of potential complications. The outcomes data for yohimbine clearly indicate a therapy with marginal efficacy. For venous and arterial surgery, based on reported outcomes, chances of success do not appear high enough to justify routine use of such surgery.
Conclusions: For the standard patient, defined as a man with acquired organic erectile dysfunction and no evidence of hypogonadism or hyperprolactinemia, the panel recommends 3 treatment alternatives: vacuum constriction devices, vasoactive drug injection therapy and penile prosthesis implantation. Based on the data to date, yohimbine does not appear to be effective for organic erectile dysfunction and, thus, it should not be recommended as treatment for the standard patient. Venous surgery and arterial surgery in men with arteriolosclerotic disease are considered investigational and should be performed only in a research setting with long-term followup available.