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Effect of Direct-Acting Antiviral Drugs on Erectile Functions among Hepatitis C Patients: A Prospective Interventional Study

By 12 February 2021No Comments

Mohamed Alhefnawy, Ahmed Mohey, Ahmed Fathi, Ahmed Mansour, Sherief Abd-Elsalam, Ahmed Eissa, Ayman Hagras, Stefano Puliatti, Khaled Almekaty


Background & objective: Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the extrahepatic manifestations of hepatitis C virus infection that greatly affects patients’ quality of life. Unfortunately, some of the drugs used for HCV treatment may have a negative impact on the patient’s erectile function such as the pegylated interferon. Currently, with the introduction of directacting antiviral drugs, there are scarce data in the literature about its potential impact on erectile function. In these settings, we aimed to assess the impact of sofosbuvir-based therapy on male erectile function.

Methods: This prospective interventional study was carried out in Benha University hospitals between January 2019 and May 2020. The study included all consecutive HCV patients with simultaneous ED coming to the hepatology outpatient clinic. Patients were divided into a study group who received sofosbuvir-based therapy (group A) or a control group who received silymarin therapy (group B). The International Index of Erectile Function-5 (IIEF-5) was used for assessment of erectile function at different time points (pretreatment, 6 months, and 12 months after treatment). Different variables in both groups have been statistically analyzed.

Results: Overall, 75 patients who received sofosbuvir-based therapy and a control group (n = 35) matched for age and pretreatment variables (Child-Turcotte-Pugh score and Fibrosis- 4 score). There was no significant difference between both groups in the pretreatment data. On the other hand, the posttreatment IIEF-5 was significantly higher in the sofosbuvir arm compared to the silymarin arm both at six months (p<0.001) and at 12 months (p<0.001). Furthermore, the age and the stage of liver fibrosis were negatively correlated with IIEF-5 at all-time points.

Conclusion: The age and the stage of liver fibrosis are significantly correlated with the degree of ED. Furthermore, sofosbuvir-based therapy may be associated with significant improvement in the patients’ erectile function.

Keywords: Hepatitis C virus; Sofosbuvir; andrology; erectile dysfunction; sexual dysfunction; silymarin..

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Stefano Puliatti

Stefano Puliatti

Il Dr. Puliatti si è laureato in Medicina e chirurgia nel 2012 presso l’Università degli Studi di Modena ed ha poi conseguito il titolo di specialista in Urologia con il massimo dei voti presso lo stesso Ateneo. Da Luglio 2019 ricopre il ruolo di Assistant Professor in Urologia presso l'Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia. Da Luglio 2019 ricopre anche il ruolo di Deputy Medical Director of ORSI Academy, Melle, Belgio e svolge attività clinica e chirurgica presso OLV (Onze Lieve Vrouwziekenhuis) Hospital in Aalst, Belgio (direttore: Prof. Alex Mottrie). La sua formazione si è incentrata in particolare sulla Chirurgia robotica e oncologica delle vie urinarie, avendo come principali campi di applicazione anche tumori e malattie della prostata, tumori del rene e delle alte vie urinarie, disturbi minzionali, calcolosi delle vie urinarie. È inoltre autore e coautore di articoli scientifici e capitoli di libro in ambito urologico. Attualmente svolge attività in libera professione presso diverse strutture situate a Modena e Provincia.