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Audiovisual sexual stimulation by virtual glasses is effective in inducing complete cavernosal smooth muscle relaxation: a pharmacocavernosometric study.

Author(s): Pescatori ES, Silingardi V, Galeazzi GM, Rigatelli M, Ranzi A, Artibani W

Affiliation(s): Cattedra di Urologia, Modena University, Italy.

Publication date & source: 2000-04, Int J Impot Res., 12(2):83-8

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

Audiovisual sexual stimulation (AVSS) is frequently employed to promote cavernosal smooth muscle relaxation (SMR) in hemodynamic diagnostic settings for erectile dysfunction. Our aim has been to adapt conventional AVSS to the particular test conditions of pharmacocavernosometry and pharmacocavernosography (DICC), by the use of virtual glasses. Thirty-seven consecutive patients undergoing DICC were randomized in two groups: no-AVSS and AVSS through commercially available virtual glasses (VG-AVSS) with tri-dimensional capabilities and stereophonic headphones. Such device partially excludes the patient from the surrounding environment. In both groups a standard dose of vasoactive agents was intracavernosally administered, and possibly repeated (re-dosing), until complete SMR was obtained (3 doses/patient maximum). Psychometric tests (State Trait Anxiety Inventory and ad hoc visual analogue scales for embarrassment, stress and pain) were administered before and after DICC. The no-AVSS group consisted of 18 patients, the AVSS group of 19. Number of needed vasoactive agent doses: in the no-AVSS group 6 patients needed 1 dose, 3 patients 2, 9 patients 3 (mean dose number: 2.17); in the AVSS group 15 patients needed 1 dose, 1 patient 2, 3 patients 3 (mean dose number: 1.37). The difference in the number of doses used in the two groups was statistically significant (Student's t-test P = 0.007). Complete SMR, regardless of the number of used doses: in the no-AVSS group 9 patients (50%) achieved complete SMR, in the AVSS group 16 patients (84.2%). The difference in the two groups was statistically significant (chi-square P = 0.026). From evaluated psychometric measures no statistically significant difference between the two groups was detected. VG-AVSS significantly promotes complete SMR without increasing test related stress or anxiety. Its induced arousal suggests the possibility of performing dynamic evaluations of the erectile function with the oral agent sildenafil in place of intracavernosally administered vasoactive agents. VG-AVSS furthermore constitutes a promising tool for the investigation of normal physiology and pathophysiology of female sexual function.

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