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Impotence in Scleroderma

NANCY S. NOWLIN, M.D.; JAMES E. BRICK, M.D.; DANA J. WEAVER, M.D.; DEBORAH A. WILSON, M.D.; HOWARD L. JUDD, M.D.; JOHN K. H. LU, Ph.D.; and HAROLD E. CARLSON, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: by the Veterans Administration and by grant CA 23093 from the U. S. Public Health Service.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Nancy S. Nowlin, M.D.; Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, 1010 North Kansas; Wichita, KS 67214-3199.


Columbia, Missouri; and Los Angeles, California


© 1986 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1986;104(6):794-798. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-104-6-794
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Hormonal, neurologic, and vascular factors affecting potency were evaluated in 10 men with scleroderma and in 10 age-matched men with rheumatoid arthritis. Impotence was reported by 6 of the patients with scleroderma and none with rheumatoid arthritis. Studies of serum testosterone, free testosterone index, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, prolactin, estradiol, thyroxine, and thyrotropin did not show a hormonal basis for impotence in any patient. Neurologic causes were not found on physical examination. Penile blood pressures were markedly abnormal in 4 impotent patients, intermediate in 2 impotent and 3 potent patients, and normal in 11 potent patients. A history of claudication and diminished ankle blood pressures indicated large vessel disease in 2 impotent patients; the remaining 4 impotent men had normal ankle pressures, suggesting that their poor penile blood pressures and impotence were due to small vessel disease, perhaps the small artery lesions of scleroderma.

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