• Diagnostic Testing;
  • Male Erectile Disorder;
  • Neurophysiological Studies of Sexual Function


Introduction.  Although the corpus cavernosum electromyography (CC-EMG) has been studied already for 16 years, doubts regarding its reproducibility have remained.

Aim.  To assess the reproducibility of CC-EMG under controlled conditions and the influence of confounding factors.

Methods.  Three CC-EMG recording sessions were performed in 13 healthy young men under the same conditions. Furthermore, the effects of potentially confounding factors, such as intake of caffeine, alcohol and smoking, and sexual activity, were investigated in the same population. Using auto- and cross-correlation techniques, CC-potentials were characterized with parameters amplitude (A), duration (D), dominant frequency (DF), maximum cross-correlation coefficient of longitudinal and bilateral CC-potential pairs (Rmax-lon. and Rmax-bi.), and propagation velocity (PV ).

Main Outcome Measures.  Comparison of CC-EMG parameters A, D, DF, Rmax-lon., and Rmax-bi. between three recording sessions and assessment of the impact of confounding factors on these parameters.

Results. DF, D, A, and Rmax-lon. showed significant correlations among three sessions; PV showed significant correlations between two sessions performed within the same day but not between those performed on different days; Rmax-bi. did not show significant correlations between any two sessions. Intake of caffeine, alcohol, and smoking did not affect CC-potentials, while the recordings shortly after ejaculation showed more irregular oscillations and less CC-potentials with smaller A.

Conclusions.  CC-potential parameters DF, D, A, and Rmax-lon. have been demonstrated to be reproducible. The results provide a basis for the clinical and scientific application of CC-EMG. CC-potentials are not sensitive to confounding factors such as intake of caffeine, alcohol, and smoking, while measurements shortly after ejaculation should be avoided. Jiang X, Holsheimer J, Wagner G, Mulders P, Wijkstra H, and Meuleman E. A reproducibility study of corpus cavernosum electromyography in young healthy volunteers under controlled conditions. J Sex Med 2007;4:183–190.