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Minerva Ginecologica 2007 February;59(1):51-61

language: English

Clinical diagnostic approach to erectile dysfunction

Caretta N., Foresta C.

Clinical Pathology Unit, Department of Histology, Microbiology and Medical Biotechnologies, University of Padua, Padua, Italy


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Erectile dysfunction (ED) has been defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as the inability to achieve and/or maintain an erection for a satisfactory sexual intercourse. Data on ED epidemiology estimate a prevalence of 12-52%; the prevalence in Italy is 12.8%. ED is a symptom, sometimes the first, of numerous internal diseases. ED can mark the point where the evaluation and prevention of illnesses (diabetes, arterial hypertension, atherosclerosis) hitherto unknown by the patient can begin. The andrologist’s task is to identify the disorder underlying ED and to plan the appropriate diagnostic work-up.

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