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J Am Paraplegia Soc. 1991 Apr;14(2):43-51.

Evaluation and treatment of erectile dysfunction following spinal cord injury: a review.

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University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.


The majority of spinal cord injured (SCI) men with upper motor neuron lesions have reflex erections. However, these erections are often not adequately sustained making it difficult if not impossible to have intercourse. The majority of SCI men with lower motor neuron lesions do not have erections. Penile implants are effective in producing erections following SCI. However, they have the disadvantages of being a surgical procedure and of having the risk of infections and erosion of the implant through the skin. Intracavernous injections of papaverine and phentolamine and vacuum erection devices have recently been added to our armamentarium of ways to treat erectile dysfunction. A major concern particularly in SCI men is that papaverine and phentolamine may cause prolonged erections in SCI men. We presently have little data on the use of vacuum devices in SCI men, but preliminary reports on those who are using FDA-approved devices appear promising.

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