PURPOSE To our knowledge comparative data on the effectiveness of and patient preference for intracavernous injection therapy and sildenafil are still not available. We evaluated the efficacy of sildenafil as well as patient preference in a group of impotent men on intracavernous injection for more than a year. MATERIALS AND METHODS Patients on intracavernous injection therapy for more than a year without neurological disease and/or a contraindication to sildenafil treatment were recruited for study. In phase 1 we determined the efficacy of 50 and 100 mg. sildenafil citrate at home. In phase 2 responders to sildenafil were asked to use the preferred dose orally for a month and choose intracavernous injection or sildenafil. In phase 3 patients were asked to continue either treatment for 3 more months. Patient preferences were reported at the end of phases 2 and 3. RESULTS Of the 180 men recruited 155 with a mean age of 56.4 +/- 12.6 years on intracavernous injection for a mean of 26 +/- 9 months accepted and were included in our series. Overall 116 men (74.8%) responded to sildenafil during study phase 1. After 1 month of treatment 71 responders (61.2%) preferred to continue with the oral drug, 31 (26.7%) returned to intracavernous injection and 14 (12.1%) used each drug alternately. Three months later 74 of the 116 responders (63.8%) preferred oral treatment and 38 (32.8%) chose intracavernous injection, while 4 (3. 4%) continued to use each treatment alternately. CONCLUSIONS Sildenafil is highly effective in intracavernous injection responders, although a certain group prefer to continue intracavernous injection. While sildenafil should be considered first line treatment, men with erectile dysfunction should be aware of all treatment options available because nonresponders to sildenafil may respond to intracavernous injection.