The association between elevated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels and the risk of postoperative infection after penile prosthesis surgery remains controversial.
To examine the association between HbA1c levels and penile implant infections in men undergoing inflatable penile prosthesis (IPP) surgery for erectile dysfunction using a large insurance claims database.
This was a retrospective review using Optum's de-identified Clinformatics Data Mart Database. Male subjects 18 years and older with available laboratory data undergoing IPP insertion between 2003 and 2018 were included. Administrative diagnosis and procedural codes were used to assess subsequent penile implant revision surgery status for either infectious or noninfectious causes. Associated conditions were controlled for such as smoking status, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, obesity status, and Peyronie's disease.
The main outcomes were risk of revision for infection and time to revision.
A total of 2,363 individuals underwent initial IPP insertion and had available HbA1c data with a mean HbA1c of 6.9%. The overall IPP infection revision rate was 3.9% and the highest rate of 12.1% was seen in the highest HbA1c group (>10%). After adjusting for demographic and health factors, a higher HbA1c level was associated with a higher risk of revision for infection, with every 1 point increase in HbA1c conferring an increased risk of infection requiring revision by 29% (95% CI 17-42%). When infections did occur, they happened sooner in men with HbA1c > 10.0% with an average of 1.3 months vs 3.5 months in the HbA1c < 6.0% group.
These findings provide insight into the potential relationship between HbA1c levels and postoperative risk of infection after penile prosthesis surgery and may aid in clinical decision-making.
Strengths include the large sample size, length of data coverage, and real-world analysis of surgeries done across the United States. Limitations include the reliance on insurance claims data, the retrospective study design, and lack of additional relevant clinical variables that may impact infection rates.
While the overall risk of penile prosthesis infection remains modest, the current report notes an increased risk of infection for diabetic men with poor glycemic control. Chen T, Li S, Eisenberg ML. The Association Between Hemoglobin A1c Levels and Inflatable Penile Prosthesis Infection: Analysis of US Insurance Claims Data. J Sex Med 2021;18:1104-1109.
The journal of sexual medicine. 2021 Jun 06 [Epub]
Tony Chen, Shufeng Li, Michael L Eisenberg
Department of Urology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA. Electronic address: ., Department of Urology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.