Accuracy of the initial history and physical examination to establish the etiology of erectile dysfunction

Brian Davis-Joseph, Leonore Tiefer, Arnold Melman, Richard E. Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations


Objectives: Because of its implications for possible therapy, the ability to establish a diagnosis of erectile dysfunction (ED) solely on the basis of history and physical examination has been a matter of controversy. The determination of the etiology of ED based on history and physical examination is evaluated in this present study. Methods: Consecutive patients presenting for evaluation of ED were evaluated by careful history, physical examination, psychologic evaluation, and RigiScan monitoring. They were then stratified into either organic or psychogenic groups based on each of these modalities. These diagnoses were then compared to a final diagnosis obtained through additional testing. Results: History and physical examination had a 95% sensitivity but only a 50% specificity in diagnosing organic ED. The accuracy rates of history and physical examination in diagnosing ED were 80% and 60%, respectively. Conclusions: A multifaceted comprehensive approach is required to evaluate fully and to diagnose ED.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498-502
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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