An Evaluation and Comparison of Methods Assessing Erectile Dysfunction
Thermography is a relatively new physiological technique that assesses erectile functioning using genital temperature in response to a sexually explicit stimulus. This technique is cost effective and can be performed by any trained health professional. The current study aimed to assess thermography in screening and differentiating between the two types of erectile dysfunction (organic and psychogenic) while comparing it to the Doppler ultrasounds; the current gold standard for diagnosing erectile dysfunction. Participants (n=81) referred from their urologist underwent thermographic analysis. Genital temperature, continuous and discrete self-reported sexual arousal measures were obtained at baseline, during and after viewing a sexually explicit film segment. An ultrasound procedure was scheduled on a subsequent day where measures of vascular functioning were obtained. Results revealed that men in the psychogenic ED group had on average higher genital temperature change in response to the sexually explicit film. Thermography was most accurate in identifying participants with normal vascular functioning as compared to men who were classified as having organic ED.