Preoperative atorvastatin does not improve erectile function recovery after prostatectomy
A short-term course of atorvastatin prior to radical prostatectomy does not yield significant benefits on the recovery of erectile function after the procedure, a recent study has found.
Participants randomly received either 80-mg atorvastatin (n=60; median age, 64 years) or placebo (n=58; median age, 64 years) on a daily basis before undergoing radical prostatectomy. Erectile function was assessed using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) questionnaire before surgery and 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after.
At baseline, normal erectile function was reported in 43 percent of men in the statin arm and in 45 percent in the placebo arm. These proportions shrank to 4 percent and 2 percent 3 months after surgery, respectively. By 12 months, the rate of normal erectile function rebounded slightly to 9 percent in the statin group and 4 percent in the placebo group.
Conversely, severe erectile dysfunction rates ballooned to 78 percent and 90 percent in the statin and placebo arms, respectively, 3 months after surgery. Corresponding baseline rates were 8 percent and 4 percent.
At no point in the entire study duration were IIEF-5 scores significantly different between the study arms.
Subgroup analysis according to severity of erectile dysfunction, the use of nerve-sparing surgery, or baseline diabetes, hypertension or smoking did not change the initial results.
The present findings need confirmation in future, larger trials, said researchers. The effects of prolonged and postoperative statin use will also have to be investigated.