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Volume 9, Issue 2 (March 2007) 9, 259–264; 10.1111/j.1745-7262.2007.00085.x

Sildenafil versus continuous positive airway pressure for erectile dysfunction in men with obstructive sleep apnea: a comparative study of their efficacy and safety and the patient's satisfaction with treatment

Petros Perimenis, Kyriakos Karkoulias, Angelis Konstantinopoulos, Paraskevi P Perimeni, George Katsenis, Anastasios Athanasopoulos and Konstantinos Spyropoulos

1.Department of Urology, University Hospital of Patras, Patras 26500, Greece
2.Department of Pneumonology, University Hospital of Patras, Patras 26500, Greece

Correspondence: Dr Petros Perimenis, Medical School, University of Patras, 26500 Rio, Patras, Greece. Fax: +30-2610-994-668. E-mail: petperim@upatras.gr

Received 31 January 2005; Accepted 28 April 2005.


Aim: To assess the efficacy of sildenafil and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in the treatment of concurrent erectile dysfunction (ED) with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and to gauge the level of treatment satisfaction in patients and their partners.

Methods: Forty men were treated for 12 weeks with sildenafil 100 mg (20 men) or CPAP during nighttime sleep (20 men). Treatment efficacy was assessed by the rate of successful intercourse attempts, and satisfaction with treatment was assessed by patients' and partners' answers to question 1 of the Erectile Dysfunction Inventory of Treatment Satisfaction.

Results: Under sildenafil, 128 of 249 (51.4%) intercourse attempts were successful; under CPAP, 51 of 193 (26.9%) attempts were successful (cP < 0.001). Erectile function was improved in both groups. After sildenafil and CPAP treatment, the mean International Index for Erectile Function domain scores were 14.3 and 10.8, respectively (bP = 0.025), compared to 7.8 and 7 at baseline, respectively. CPAP and sildenafil were well tolerated. Sporadic episodes of nasal dryness under CPAP and transient headache and flushing under sildenafil were not significant. Fifty percent of patients treated with sildenafil and 25% with CPAP were satisfied with the treatment, and their partners were equally satisfied. The satisfaction scores for both patients and partners under sildenafil were superior to those under CPAP (cP < 0.002).

Conclusion: Both sildenafil 100 mg and CPAP, used separately, had positive therapeutic impact but sildenafil was superior. Patients and their partners were more satisfied with sildenafil for the treatment of ED. However, because of the high proportion of dissatisfied men and partners, new therapeutic agents or a combination of the two methods must be studied further.

Keywords: obstructive sleep apnea, erectile dysfunction, continuous positive airway pressure, sildenafil

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