More MS news articles for Sep 2001

Physiologic studies of male sexual dysfunction in multiple sclerosis|6040873963134832242/-1052814329/6/7051/7051/7052/7052/7051/-1

Multiple Sclerosis,   August 2001, vol. 7, no. 4,   pp. 249-254(5)
Yang C.C. [2] *; Bowen J.D. [3]; Kraft G.H. [3]; Uchio E.M. [1]; Kromm B.G. [1]
[1] Department of Urology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, WA, USA [2] Department of Neurology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, WA, USA [3] Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, WA, USA [*] Correspondence: C Yang, Department of Urology, Box 356510, Room BB1115, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-6510, USA


We conducted this investigation to better define the neural disruptions that result in sexual dysfunction in men with multiple sclerosis (MS), using genital electrodiagnostic testing and nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity monitoring.


Thirteen men with MS and sexual dysfunction were recruited for the study. Twelve healthy, sexually potent men were enrolled as controls. All underwent pudendal somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) testing using standard methods, and a new modification to isolate the right and left dorsal nerves of the penis. RigiScan testing was performed on the MS subjects to assess nocturnal erectile function.


Unilateral and bilateral DNP SEPs were able to be performed on the control subjects. In all but one MS subjects, DNP SEP abnormalities were found. Three men had normal latency bilateral DNP SEP latencies, but on unilateral DNP testing, abnormalities were identified. Seven men, including those with abnormal or absent SEP latencies, had normal nocturnal erectile activity. There was no correlation between overall functional status, presence of abnormal or absent SEP, and quality of nocturnal erectile activity.


Genital SEP abnormalities are common in men with MS and sexual dysfunction. Unilateral DNP SEP testing was more sensitive in identifying abnormalities than the standard method of pudendal SEP testing. One of the causes of sexual dysfunction in men with MS may be due to genital somatosensory pathway disruption, with sparing of the efferent tracts in some men.