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Archivos Españoles de Urología (Ed. impresa)

Print version ISSN 0004-0614


VALLES ANTUNA, Consuelo; FERNANDEZ GOMEZ, J. M.; ESCAF, S.  and  FERNANDEZ-GONZALEZ, Fernando. Neurogenic etiology in patients with erectile dysfunction. Arch. Esp. Urol. [online]. 2008, vol.61, n.3, pp.403-411. ISSN 0004-0614.

Objectives: Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a disorder with a high prevalence that increases with age. It is estimated that 18.9% of men’s between 25 and 70 years suffer it in Spain. Most cases have a multifactorial origin and it is admitted the influence on its pathogenesis of systemic diseases, different kind of drugs, psychogenic factors, cardiovascular, endocrinological and neurological diseases. Neurologic cause erectile dysfunction may have its origin in the central or peripheral nervous system. Among possible process of neurogenic erectile dysfunction of central origin would be tumors, cerebral vascular accidents, encephalitis, Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis and other demyelinization diseases, dementias, olivopontocerebellar degeneration and epilepsy. Myelopathies of any etiology may be, depending on their localization and extension, cause of erectile dysfunction. At the peripheral level, disorders of the sensitive tracts constituting the afferent limb of the erection spinal reflex, and the efferent vegetative or somatic tracts mediating arterial vasodilatation, cavernous smooth muscle relaxation or pelvic floor striated muscle contraction. The aim of this work is to review in detail the most relevant causes of neurogenic erectile dysfunction, their etiopathogenic mechanisms and therapeutic approaches currently considered more adequate for each particular case. Conclusions: The correct diagnostic approach to patients with erectile dysfunction passes through identification, if possible, of the etiopathogenic factors implied. Regarding this, detection and identification of a possible neurogenic risk factor will contribute to a better understanding of the physiopathologic mechanisms, and more adequate diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic approaches, mainly in those patients refractory to first line therapy.

Keywords : Erectile dysfunction; Etiopathogenesis; Parkinson’s disease; Epilepsy; Multiple sclerosis; Myelopathy; Neuropathy; Polyneuropathy; Diagnosis; Sacral neuromodulation.

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