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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 225-230

Corpus cavernosum electromyography, a usable clinical diagnostic method for erectile dysfunction?

1 Institute of Preventive Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
2 Department of Urology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Netherlands

Correspondence Address:
Gorm Wagner
Institute of Preventive Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital, Øster Søgade 18-1, DK-1357 Copenhagen K
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-1591.27629

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Corpus cavernosum electromyography (CC-EMG) has been intensively studied as a potential clinical tool for evaluating the function of the cavernous smooth muscle and its autonomic innervations since 1989. Both basic and clinical studies have shown promising results. However, its application as a diagnostic tool with clinical relevance was hindered by insufficient knowledge of cavernous smooth muscle electrophysiology and a series of technical and practical difficulties. Recently, major progress has been made to overcome these difficulties. Multichannel monopolar recording method has been proved to be superior to traditional one or two-channel bipolar recording. Correlation techniques have been applied as a comprehensive, objective and easy-to-use method to analyze CC-EMG recordings. Using these newly developed techniques, CC-EMG has been demonstrated to be discriminative in erectile dysfunction patients with conditions that are associated with cavernous smooth muscle degeneration and/or autonomic neuropathy from men with normal erectile function. However, before CC-EMG can be used as a robust method for erectile dysfunction-diagnostics, some basic and clinical issues are still to be solved. This review presents an overview of the latest advances in CC-EMG studies, mainly focusing on the clinical application of this method as a diagnostic tool. Furthermore, the background knowledge of cavernous electrophysiology, the problems to be overcome and future perspectives are also discussed.

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