International Journal of Impotence Research vol:23 issue:3 pages:99-108
There is strong evidence from multiple epidemological studies that lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and erectile dysfunction (ED) are correlated, independent of age or comorbidities as diabetes or hypertension. Although a direct causal relationship is not established yet, four pathophysiological mechanisms can explain the relationship. These include alteration in nitric oxide bioavailability, α1-adrenergic receptor hyperactivity, pelvic atherosclerosis and sex hormones. This association has different clinical implications on the management of both disorders. Men seeking care for one condition should always be screened for complaints of the other condition. Sexual function should be assessed and discussed with the patient when choosing the appropriate management strategy for LUTS, as well as when evaluating the patient's response to treatment. Multiple large clinical trials have shown an improvement in LUTS after phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5)-inhibitor treatment. PDE5 inhibitors show promise as a future treatment for LUTS, either in conjunction with existing therapies or as a primary treatment. There may be a potential therapeutic role for testosterone in LUTS treatment in cases of testosterone deficiency that needs to be investigated. Much further investigation is required, but it is evident that the association between LUTS and ED is fundamental for future therapies and possible preventative strategies.