Neuropathy may bring to erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction was usually linked to vascular disease, a form of cardiovascular disease that affects a circulatory function. According to a new study, the results of which appeared at the end of the year, patients diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, often suffer from erectile disease or problem that is connected with functioning of PDE-5 inhibitors in the organism.

The researchers said that the study of this kind had not been done before. Patients diagnosed with ED were examined to determine the condition of the peripheral nerves in the patients with ED. It turned out that neurophysiological tests are necessary for such patients. Special attention is paid to pelvic area.

The results of neurophysiologic tests

There were 90 persons among male patients who took part in the tests, conducted by the department of urology in the Central Hospital of Asturias. The average male patient was 54 years old. 10% of them did not reach 40 years old. About 2% of the patients were above 70. Approximately one third of them had cardiovascular disease. Neurogenic problems were discovered in 16% of them, while diabetes was a problem of 15.9%. Psychopathology could be found in 7.3% of the male patients. Other 11.1% did not have any risk factors.

Men who participated in the study had undergone a range of neurophysiological tests. The results were based on one of the variants of IIEF with five points included and NSS. Men with poor results on NSS (Neuropathy Symptom Score) had bad results in the second test as well and required more radical ED treatment than ordinary oral intake of pills. Penile prostheses can become an example of such treatment.

When pelvic floor electromyography was conducted, it discovered that 48% of men who participated in the study had the symptoms of chronic axonotmesis. It was bilateral in 20% of them. About 38% of men suffered from polyneuropathy, 9% were diagnosed with small fiber neuropathy, while some of the patients suffered from dysfunction of small unmyelinated peripheral nerve fibers, which were damaged. Pudendal neuropathy was found in 14.4% of the patients. The condition referred to somatic nerve in pelvic area.

When tests on sympathetic skin reaction was conducted, penile area turned out to be more responsive in comparison with foot or hand. Though the association of chronic axonotmesis with NSS score was noticed, still the International Index of Erectile Function and the results of neurophysiological study are not connected with each other.

According to the opinion of the authors, the role of peripheral neuropathy was not regarded seriously until the research demonstrated the opposite result. Henceforward more attention will be paid to it in daily clinical practice. Pelvic small fibre function should be assessed properly.