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Asian J Androl. 2019 Mar 22. doi: 10.4103/aja.aja_7_19. [Epub ahead of print]

Optimal pressure in penile rehabilitation with a vacuum erection device: evidence based on a rat model.

Author information

1
Andrology Laboratory, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China.
2
Department of Urology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China.

Abstract

Vacuum erection device (VED), used to treat radical prostatectomy (RP)-associated erectile dysfunction, has attracted considerable attention. However, the optimal negative pressure remains to be determined. This investigation explored the optimal pressure for VED therapy in penile rehabilitation. Thirty-six 9-week-old male rats were randomly divided into six groups: control groups (sham group, bilateral cavernous nerve crush [BCNC] group) and VED therapy groups (-200 mmHg group, -300 mmHg group, -400 mmHg group, -500 mmHg group). BCNC group and VED therapy groups underwent BCNC surgery. Intracavernosal pressure (ICP)/mean arterial pressure (MAP) ratio was calculated to assess erectile function. Masson's trichrome (MT) staining, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay, immunohistochemistry, and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were performed to explore cellular and molecular changes of the penis. Compared to the BCNC group, ICP/MAP ratios in all VED treatment groups were improved significantly (all P < 0.05), but there were no statistically significant differences among VED therapy groups. With increased pressure, complications gradually emerged and increased in frequency. Expression of molecular indicators, such as endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), increased after VED therapy, and hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) decreased. In addition, VED therapy improved the outcomes of MT and TUNEL assay. This investigation demonstrated a pressure of -200 mmHg in a rat model is optimal for VED therapy for penile rehabilitation after RP. No further benefits were observed with increased pressure, despite an increase in complications.

KEYWORDS:

erectile dysfunction; negative pressure; penile rehabilitation; vacuum erection devices

PMID:
30924453
DOI:
10.4103/aja.aja_7_19
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