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Urology. 1984 Jan;23(1):31-4.

Penile xenon (133Xe) washout: a rapid method of screening for vasculogenic impotence.


The radioactive inert gas xenon (133Xe) is a well-established isotopic indicator used to assess vascular status in many organ systems. We employed xenon-133 to evaluate male impotence. Xenon-133 was injected subcutaneously at the level of the coronal sulcus in the detumescent state. Using the gamma camera, sequential images were obtained and computer-generated curves calculated. The clearance time for 50 per cent washout of the injected 133Xe (T1/2) was then calculated for each patient, as well as a control group. Preliminary findings indicate a correlation with such established techniques of evaluating erectile impotence as history, physical examination, penile pulse Doppler tracings, and brachial-penile blood pressure index. The xenon-133 washout study was a rapid, minimally invasive, reproducible, and cost-effective method of screening those impotent patients for vasculogenic etiology of their erectile impotence. We recommend the addition of this method to the surgeon engaged in the care of impotent males.

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