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J Urol. 1987 Aug;138(2):438-41.

The effect of cigarette smoking on penile erection.


Clinical observations suggest that cigarette smoking impairs erectile function in patients with moderate arterial insufficiency. To evaluate the effects of smoking on the physiology of erection, we studied six healthy adult mongrel dogs in which bipolar cuff electrodes were implanted around the cavernous nerves. After threshold stimulation parameters for penile erection were established, cigarette smoke collected in a 60-ml. syringe was released slowly near the dog's mouth, to be inhaled by natural breathing. Stimulation of the cavernous nerve was repeated and blood samples for nicotine, cotinine and blood gases were obtained before and after each cigarette. The systolic and intracorporeal pressure, flow through the internal pudendal artery, and venous flow from the corpora cavernosa were recorded at baseline and with each electrostimulation after smoke inhalation. Five of the six dogs were unable to achieve full erection after inhalation of smoke from two to three cigarettes. Some decrease of flow through the internal pudendal artery occurred and the venous restriction ability was almost completely abolished by smoking. Further, when nicotine was injected intravenously into two additional dogs, the same phenomenon was observed. These findings support the idea that cigarette smoking may contribute to impotence in some patients.

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