What is the role of lab studies in the workup of erectile dysfunction (ED)?

Updated: Aug 08, 2018
  • Author: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

The laboratory investigation for erectile dysfunction (ED) depends on information gathered during the interview. Laboratory testing is necessary for most patients, though not for all. On the basis of these study results, the physician should be able to determine the medical status of the patient, to identify and characterize the type of dysfunction, and to determine the need for additional testing (eg, penile or pelvic blood flow studies, nocturnal penile tumescence testing, or other blood tests).

Imaging studies are rarely performed, except in situations involving pelvic trauma or surgery.

In making any decisions about further management or referral, the patient’s needs, expectations, and priorities should be discussed and taken into account.


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