ORLANDO—Transperineal prostate biopsy is associated with significant short-term erectile dysfunction (ED), according to study findings presented at the American Urological Association 2014 annual meeting. Erectile function recovers fully by 6 months post-biopsy.

Janette Kinsella, MSc, of Guy’s Hospital in London, and colleagues studied 278 men with presumed low-risk prostate cancer on transrectal biopsy who underwent confirmatory transperineal biopsy within 3-6 months of their diagmosis prior to entering an active surveillance program. The number of biopsies taken ranged from 24-38, depending on prostate volume. Investigators evaluated erectile function using the International Index of Erectile Function-5 (IIEF-5) prior to and 1, 3, and 6 months after transperineal biopsy.

The mean biopsy time was 4.1 minutes.  The mean pre-biopsy IIEF-5 score was 20.2. This declined to 10.4 at 1 month post-biopsy, a 49% decrease. The mean IIEF-5 score rose to 19.6 by 3 months and 20.4 by 6 months. In addition, 28 patients (10%) had an improvement in erectile function, possibly due to alleviation of anxiety, according to the investigators.

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The potential impact of transperineal biopsy on erectile function should be emphasized during the informed consent process, the authors concluded.