Hypothalamus may be involved in psychogenic erectile dysfunction (2008)

Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue. 2008 Jul;14(7):602-5.

[Article in Chinese]

Wang T1, Liu B, Wu ZJ, Yang B, Liu JH, Wang JK, Wang SG, Yang WM, Ye ZQ.



To study the changes of hypothalamus metabolism in patients with psychogenic erectile dysfunction (ED) so as to get some clues to the possible pathogenic factors and pathophysiological mechanism of the problem.


Six cases of psychogenic ED and 4 normal volunteers were studied by positron emission tomography (PET) for the characteristics of hypothalamus glucose metabolism. Following audiovisual sexual stimulation, the concentration of fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (18 F-FDG) was determined and the ratio of the left (right) hypothalamus count to the cerebrum count was calculated.


Audiovisual sexual stimulation significantly increased 18F-FDG in the volunteers (left: 1.026 +/- 0.115 vs 2.400 +/- 0.210; right: 1.003 +/- 0.187 vs 2.389 +0.196, P < 0.05) as compared with the psychogenic ED patients (left: 2.781 +/- 0.156 vs 2.769 +/- 0.223; right: 2.809 +/- 0.129 vs 2.793 +/- 0.217, P > 0.05).


Psychogenic ED may not be simply a functional disease; the hypothalamus may be involved in the pathophysiology of the problem.