Neurophysiologic evaluation of central-peripheral sensory and motor pudendal pathways in primary premature ejaculation

A. Perretti, A. Catalano, V. Mirone, C. Imbimbo, P. Balbi, A. Palmieri, N. Longo, Ferdinando Fusco, P. Verze, L. Santoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Pudendal nerve somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs), the bulbocavernosus (BC) reflex, and BC perineal motor evoked potentials after transcranial magnetic cortical stimulation were performed in patients with primary premature ejaculation to investigate the somatic sensory and motor function of the genital area. Methods: Fourteen patients with primary premature ejaculation underwent psychological counseling, urologic physical examination, transrectal ultrasound examination, laboratory testing, and the Stamey test. The spinal and cortical pudendal nerve SEPs were performed by dorsal nerve stimulation at the penile shaft (DN-SEPs) in all patients and at the glans penis (GP-SEPs) in 3 of them. The BC reflex was obtained by stimulating the base of the penis. Results: The mean sensory threshold did not significantly differ between the patients and normal subjects. Cortical DN-SEPs were normal in all patients. The sensory central conduction time, calculated in 6 patients, was normal. The mean cortical DN-SEP amplitude was significantly smaller in patients than in controls. In 3 patients and in 3 controls who underwent both DN-SEP and GP-SEP testing, the glans penis sensory threshold was lower than the dorsal nerve threshold and the cortical GP-SEP latency was longer than the cortical DN-SEP latency. The BC reflex was normal in most patients. The BC motor evoked potentials were normal in all patients, but one. Conclusions: We did not confirm either a faster conduction along the pudendal sensory pathway or a greater cortical representation of the sensory stimuli from the genital area in our patients. Moreover, we did not confirm hyperexcitability of the BC reflex in them. Our results suggest that the electrophysiologic approach is probably not sufficient to clarify the causes of primary premature ejaculation. A more integrated investigation could allow better results in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-628
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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