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Brain. 2017 Jun 1;140(6):1706-1717. doi: 10.1093/brain/awx080.

Lesion mapping of stroke-related erectile dysfunction.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany.
2
Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Essen, Essen, Germany.
3
Department of Neuroradiology, University Hospital of Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany.
4
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Paracelsus Medical University, Nuremberg, Germany.
5
Autonomic Unit, University College London, Institute of Neurology and National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London, UK.

Abstract

Acute ischaemic stroke in brain areas contributing to male sexual function may impair erectile function depending on the lesion site. This study intended to determine associations between stroke-related erectile dysfunction and cerebral ischaemic lesion sites using voxel-based lesion mapping. In 52 males (mean age 60.5 ± 10.5 years) with first-ever ischaemic strokes, we assessed erectile function after and retrospectively 3 months prior to the stroke using scores of the 5-item International Index of Erectile Function-5 questionnaire. We assessed cardiovascular risk factors and determined clinical stroke severity and infarct volumes as well as total brain volume by neuroimaging. We calculated correlations between patient age, clinical stroke severity, infarct volumes as well as brain volumes and the difference between erectile dysfunction scores before and after stroke. Moreover, we compared patient age, prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, clinical stroke severity, infarct volumes and brain volumes of patients with unchanged and deteriorated erectile function after stroke. The infarcts were manually outlined and transformed into stereotaxic space. We determined the lesion overlap and performed subtraction analyses of lesions. In a voxel-based lesion analysis, the difference between erectile dysfunction scores before and after stroke was correlated with the lesion site using t-test statistics. Finally, we conducted a region of interest-based multivariate linear regression analysis that was adjusted for potential confounding factors including patient age, clinical stroke severity, imaging modality, lesion size and brain volume. In 32 patients (61.5%) erectile dysfunction scores declined after the stroke and therefore had stroke-related erectile dysfunction. Deterioration of erectile dysfunction scores was not associated with patient age, clinical stroke severity, infarct volume, brain volume, and cardiovascular risk factors. The voxel-wise subtraction analysis showed associations between stroke-related erectile dysfunction and lesion sites in the right occipito-parietal cortex and thalamus, as well as in the left insula and adjacent temporo-parietal areas. Using voxel-wise t-test statistics, we showed associations between deterioration of erectile function and lesion sites in the right occipital and thalamic region, and the left parietal association area. The linear regression analysis showed that stroke-related erectile dysfunction remained associated with lesions of the right occipital and left parietal association areas after adjusting for confounding factors. In conclusion, our voxel-wise analysis indicates that deteriorating erectile function after stroke is associated with lesions in the right occipito-parietal and thalamic areas integrating visual and somatosensory information, as well as lesions in the left insular and adjacent parieto-temporal areas contributing to generating and mapping visceral arousal states.

KEYWORDS:

autonomic dysfunction; erectile dysfunction; ischaemic stroke; voxel-based lesion symptom mapping

PMID:
28430885
DOI:
10.1093/brain/awx080
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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