Erectile Dysfunction Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Jul 19, 2022
  • Author: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

In addition to the conditions listed in the differential diagnosis, the following conditions should be taken into consideration:

  • Cancer and cancer treatment

  • Epilepsy

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Guillain-Barré syndrome

  • Alzheimer disease

  • Epispadias

  • Widower syndrome

  • Performance anxiety

  • Malnutrition

  • Leukemias

  • Medications (eg, antidepressants, antipsychotics, antihypertensives, antiulcer drugs, hyperlipidemia medications)

Excessive expectations on the part of men who actually have normal erectile function should also be considered in the differential diagnosis.

General models for diagnosis and management

The Process of Care Model for the Evaluation and Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction was developed to advance new guidelines for the diagnosis and management of ED in primary care and multidisciplinary settings. [72] The key components of this model are the following:

  • A rational approach to diagnosis and treatment

  • Emphasis on clinical history taking and a focused examination

  • Specialized testing and referral in predefined situations

  • A stepwise management approach with ranking of treatment options

  • Incorporation of patient and partner needs and preferences in the decision-making process

An alternative model was developed that included algorithms and consensus guidelines. [73] This approach is oriented toward patient goals and involves a minimum of testing. The patient and his partner express a preference for reasonable and appropriate treatment options and work with the physician to implement this plan.

Differential Diagnoses