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Urology. 1993 Oct;42(4):412-7.

Nitric oxide synthase: a new diagnostic tool for neurogenic impotence.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco.


Cavernosal biopsy specimens obtained from men undergoing penile surgery permitted determination of the diagnostic value of nitric oxide synthase in neurogenic impotence. In biopsy specimens obtained from 25 men, the presence of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), as shown by nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) diaphorase staining, was determined in nerve fibers, smooth muscle, and sinusoidal endothelium. Positive staining for NOS correlated significantly (p < or = 0.001) with a clinical history of cavernous nerve integrity. In comparison, staining with protein gene product (PGP 9.5), an excellent general nerve stain, lacked any degree of specificity as an indicator of nerve status. NADPH diaphorase may provide important insight into the cavernous nerve integrity of the patient. This report is the first to describe histologic features of human cavernosal tissue biopsies that will allow the direct diagnosis of neurogenic impotence owing to cavernous nerve damage.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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