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Sexual dysfunction in chronic liver disease: is liver transplantation an effective cure?

Abstract
The goal of liver transplantation is not only to ensure patient long-term survival but also to offer the opportunity to achieve psychologic and physical integrity. Quality of life after liver transplantation may be affected by unsatisfactory sexual function. Before liver transplantation, sexual dysfunction and sex hormone disturbances are reported in men and women mainly due to abnormality of physiology of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and, in some cases, origin of liver disease. Successful liver transplantation should theoretically restore hormonal balance and improve sexual function both in men and women, thus improving the reproductive performance. However, after transplantation, up to 25% of patients report persistent sexual dysfunction, and approximately one third of patients describe the appearance of de novo sexual dysfunction. Despite the described high prevalence of this condition, epidemiologic data are relatively scant. Further studies on pathophysiology and risk factors in the field of sexual function after liver transplantation along with new strategies to support and inform patients on the waiting list and after surgery are needed.
AuthorsPatrizia Burra, Giacomo Germani, Annalisa Masier, Eleonora De Martin, Martina Gambato, Andrea Salonia, Patrizio Bo, Alessandro Vitale, Umberto Cillo, Francesco Paolo Russo, Marco Senzolo
JournalTransplantation (Transplantation) Vol. 89 Issue 12 Pg. 1425-9 (Jun 27 2010) ISSN: 1534-6080 [Electronic] United States
PMID20463637 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)
Topics
  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver (physiopathology)
  • Liver Diseases (complications, therapy)
  • Liver Transplantation (methods)
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological (complications, therapy)
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological (etiology, therapy)
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome

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