Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor therapy provides sustained relief of symptoms among patients with chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome type III (CP/CPPS) is associated with pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction and irritative voiding. Sustained symptom relief has proven difficult with alpha blockers, antibiotics, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors (PDE5is) have the potential to alleviate bladder urgency, relax the pelvic floor, and correct underlying erectile dysfunction; however, few studies have investigated the application of PDE5i's to CP/CPPS. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of long-term PDE5i therapy on symptoms among patients with diagnosed CP/CPPS.

A group of patients older than 18 years diagnosed with CP/CPPS presenting from 2009 to 2018 were followed prospectively while they were being prescribed off-label PDE5i therapy for symptoms. National Institute of Health chronic prostatitis symptom index (CPSI) scores before PDE5i therapy initiation and after at least 3 months were utilized to assess impact on symptoms.

A total of 25 patients (mean age 44.4±12.9 years) met study criteria. The mean duration of PDE5i therapy was 1.3±1.6 years. Continued use of daily PDE5is was associated with significant decreases in total CPSI, pain, urinary symptom and quality of life scores [total CPSI: -12.8, standard deviation (SD) 9.5; pain: -6.1, SD 4.1; urinary symptoms: -2.4, SD 2.1; quality of life: -4.5, SD 3.9; P<0.001].

This prospective data suggests that PDE5i therapy is associated with durable decreases in CP/CPPS symptoms past 3 months.

Translational andrology and urology. 2020 Apr [Epub]

Kevin Pineault, Shagnik Ray, Andrew Gabrielson, Amin S Herati

Department of Urology, The James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.