(HealthDay News) – For patients with lumbar spondylosis or spondylolisthesis of the lowest lumbar levels who undergo open anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), use of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) is associated with an increased rate of retrograde ejaculation (RE), according to research published in the October issue of The Spine Journal.

Garet C. Comer, MD, from Stanford University in Redwood City, CA, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed 10 years of prospectively gathered outcomes data from four consecutive-patient cohorts of males who underwent the same anterior exposure technique for ALIF for lumbar spondylosis or spondylolisthesis at the lowest one or two levels. Two cohorts had rhBMP-2 exposure (88 and 151 men) and the other two had no exposure (one before adoption of rhBMP-2 use, 174 men; one after discontinuation of rhBMP-2, 59 men).

The researchers identified a diagnosis of RE in 6.3% of 239 patients with ALIF and exposure to rh-BMP-2 and in 0.9% of 233 control patients without rhBMP-2 exposure. In patients exposed to rhBMP-2, urinary retention after bladder catheter removal was observed more frequently (9.7%) compared with control patients (4.6%; P=0.043). Medical or surgical treatment for prostatic hypertrophy disease was significantly associated with an increased risk of RE in the rhBMP-2 treated patients (P=0.034).

“This study supports multiple lines of evidence that strongly suggest rhBMP-2 use with an anterior interbody fusion at the lumbosacral junction is associated with an increased risk of RE,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry.

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