Differential diagnosis of impotence in diabetics: The validity of sexual symptomatology

Gene G. Abel, Judith V. Becker, Jerry Cunningham‐Rathner, Mary Mittelman, Marshall Primack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Sixty diabetic males complaining of impotence were administered a structured interview and completed nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) monitoring to categorize their impotence as either organic, psychogenic, or undetermined. A summary score of seven sexual symptoms was found to be effective in differentiating organic from psychogenic impotence. By relying upon these seven sexual symptoms as a screening test, 38% of male impotent diabetics can be spared the expense of NFT monitoring, since the outcome of such monitoring can be predicted from the summary score of these seven symptoms. The correlation between the seven sexual symptoms and the subjects' NPT monitoring results was 0.78, accounting for 61% of the variance. Therefore the seven sexual symptoms can be useful in predicting NPT monitoring results before the monitoring is completed. The sensitivity, specificity, and efficiency of the seven sexual symptoms is discussed, as well as the cost efficiency of utilizing this screening device.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-69
Number of pages13
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes


  • NPT
  • diabetic impotence
  • diagnosing impotence
  • sexual symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Urology


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