Comparison of Rigiscan and Sleep Laboratory Nocturnal Penile Tumescence in the Diagnosis of Organic Impotence

Mark R. Licht, Ronald W. Lewis, Peter C. Wollan, Cameron D. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Purpose: We evaluated the relative use of RigiScan* * Dacomed, Minneapolis, Minnesota. measurement of radial rigidity compared to sleep laboratory measurement of axial rigidity and trained observer determination of erectile function in the diagnosis of organic impotence. Materials and Methods: A total of 28 patients underwent simultaneous 2-night formal sleep laboratory nocturnal penile tumescence and RigiScan monitoring. Standard normal values for radial rigidity and axial rigidity were tested for accuracy in predicting normal nocturnal penile tumescence compared to trained observer determination of the adequacy of an erection for penetration. Results: RigiScan tip measurements correlated poorly with buckling pressure, while base measurements strongly correlated (p = 0.0005). Observer determination of a functional erection was strongly associated with tip (p = 0.002), base (p = 0.0005) and buckling pressure measurements (p = 0.0005). Using observer determination as the gold standard receiver operating curves were generated to select RigiScan base and buckling pressure measurements that predicted functional erections with the highest sensitivity and specificity. Conclusions: RigiScan is a useful tool for measuring nocturnal penile tumescence. However, base measurements are more accurate than tip measurements for evaluating erectile function. The currently accepted level of rigidity used to define a normal erection (70 percent or greater) overestimates organic erectile dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1740-1743
Number of pages4
JournalThe Journal of urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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