Introduction. Oral phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5i) have improved treatment options for erectile dysfunction (ED). In case of unresponsiveness to PDE5i, alternative therapies are considered.
Aim. To evaluate whether combination of vacuum erection device (VED) and PDE5i is effective as salvage therapy in subjects with ED in whom PDE5i alone failed.
Methods. From September 2007 to May 2008, we evaluated 69 men (aged 36–82 years) in whom PDE5i treatment at the highest recommended dose, with at least 4–6 attempts at intercourse during a 3 months period, had failed. The clinical efficacy of combination therapy was evaluated using the International Index of Erectile Function-5 (IIEF-5) questionnaire, Sexual Encounter Profile (SEP)-2, SEP-3, and Global Patient Assessment Scale (GPAS).
Main Outcome Measures. Scores on IIEF-5, SEP-2, SEP-3, and GPAS before and after combination therapy were measured.
Results. After 4 weeks of combination therapy, the mean IIEF-5 score increased significantly over baseline from 9.0 to 17.6 (P < 0.001). Of the 34 subjects with a SEP-2 response of “no” at baseline, 27 (79%) responded “yes” after combination therapy (P < 0.001). Of the 50 subjects with a SEP-3 response of “no” at baseline, 35 (70%) responded “yes” after combination therapy (P < 0.001). Furthermore, of the 42 subjects with a GPAS response of “not at all” or “slightly” improved at baseline, 31 (74%) responded “moderately” or “greatly” improved after combination therapy (P < 0.001). One subject (1.5%) experienced device-related intermittent penile pain, which resolved after 4 days without any action.
Conclusions. Statistically significant improvements over baseline were seen in IIEF-5, SEP-2, SEP-3, and GPAS measures following 4 weeks of combination therapy of PDE5i and VED. This study supports the use of PDE5i with VED in men in whom PDE5i alone failed. This combination therapy may be offered to patients not satisfied with PDE5i alone before being switched to more invasive alternatives. Canguven O, Bailen J, Fredriksson W, Bock D, and Burnett AL. Combination of vacuum erection device and PDE5 inhibitors as salvage therapy in PDE5 inhibitor nonresponders with erectile dysfunction. J Sex Med 2009;6:2561–2567.