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Objectives: To establish whether repeated trans-rectal ultrasound-guided Prostate Needle Biopsies (PNBx) performed in men with diagnosis of Small Acinar Atypical Proliferation (ASAP) predispose these subjects to Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and to evaluate if EcoColorDoppler (ECD) can help to reduce this side effect. Materials and methods: We performed a retrospective study regarding 190 men with diagnosis of ASAP detected between January 2001 and December 2011, who underwent to repeated prostate needle biopsies (PNBx). These patients were investigated about Erectile Function (EF) and Lower Urinary tract Symptoms (LUTS) using International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) and International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) questionnaires before the first PNBx and 3 months after each other one. In particular, among the 89 men without ED before first PNBx, we compared IIEF-5 score between 64 patients who underwent to standard PNBx and 25 patients submitted to a PNBx done with in addition ECD ultrasound imaging. Results: Mean patient age was 65 years (SD 7.7); mean follow-up was 3.2 years (SD 1.8) and the mean number of re-biopsies completed was 2 (SD 1.5). Among the 143 men considered, only 89 resulted with a normal EF (IIEF-5 score > 21): in this group incidence of ED (IIEF-5 score < 21) among patients who underwent to standard PNBx was 4/64 (6.25%) while in patients submitted to a PNBx with ECD was 1/25 (4%). A greater decrease of EF was observed in patients undergone to 3 or more biopsies; no relationship between IPSS score and re-PNBx was identified. Conclusion: Repeated PNBx done in patients with diagnosis of ASAP appear to get worse EF; number of biopsies seems to increase the risk of ED. Use of ECD in transrectal ultrasound- guided PNBx may have a role to avoid neurovascular bundles (NVBs) and preserve EF; anyway further studies are highly recommended to validate this hypothesis.
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