Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were shown to have reduced serum testosterone levels compared to healthy individuals. Low testosterone levels are linked with the development of erectile dysfunction (ED). In this case-controlled study, 20 healthy controls and 39 patients with ED 3 months after recovering from mild-to-moderate COVID-19 pneumonia were studied. The patients ranged in age from 31 to 47 years. To identify early and late COVID-19 infections, real-time polymerase-chain reaction (RT-PCR) and COVID-19 antibody testing were done. The levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicular stimulating hormone (FSH), total testosterone (TT), free testosterone (FT), free androgenic index (FAI), and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) were measured. The sexual health inventory for patients (SHIM) score was used to measure the erectile function of the patients and controls. When compared to the controls, the TT serum level in long COVID-19 (LC) patients with ED was low (p = 0.01). In contrast to controls, FT and FAI were both lower in LC patients with ED. (p = 0.001). FSH serum levels did not significantly differ (p = 0.07), but in ED patients, LH serum levels were elevated. SHIM scores were associated with low TT (p = 0.30), FT (p = 0.09), and high LH (p = 0.76) in LC patients with ED. Male patients with decreased serum levels of LH and testosterone may have hypothalamic-pituitary–gonadal axis dysfunction, which could lead to the development of LC-induced ED. Therefore, an in-depth research is necessary to confirm the causal link between COVID-19 and ED in LC patients.

Fuente: Scientific Reports
Published: 12 April 2023