The hemodynamics of vacuum constriction erections: Assessment by color Doppler ultrasound

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47 Scopus citations


Duplex ultrasound with pulsed Doppler and color flow sonography were used to image the penis and conduct blood flow velocity studies in 5 patients. Cavernous body cross sectional area, cavernous artery diameters and peak systolic velocities were measured in the flaccid shaft, after transient exposure to negative pressure in a vacuum constriction device, and with a vacuum constriction device band applied to the tumescent shaft. We found that exposure to vacuum transiently increased central cavernous arterial blood flow velocities compared to baseline values in all patients. After a trial of a vacuum constriction device and application of the constricting band cavernous body cross sectional areas doubled. Despite increased cavernous arterial diameters in 4 of 5 patients and increased blood flow in all patients after vacuum-induced tumescence alone, we could not visualize arterial inflow in the penile shaft once the constricting band was in place. Color Doppler ultrasound can detect cavernous artery systolic flow as low as 2 to 9 cm. per second. Our data suggest that the erectile state maintained distal to the vacuum constriction device band is low flow and relatively ischemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-61
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • penile erection
  • ultrasonic diagnosis
  • vasoconstriction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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