Physiology of penile erection and pathophysiology of erectile dysfunction

Urol Clin North Am. 2005 Nov;32(4):379-95, v. doi: 10.1016/j.ucl.2005.08.007.


This article reviews the physiology of penile erection, the components of erectile function, and the pathophysiology of erectile dysfunction. The molecular and clinical under-standing of erectile function continues to gain ground at a particularly fast rate. Advances in gene discovery have aided greatly in working knowledge of smooth muscle relaxation/contraction pathways. The understanding of the nitric oxide pathway has aided not only in the molecular understanding of the tumescence but also greatly in the therapy of erectile dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Erectile Dysfunction / physiopathology*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle, Smooth / physiology
  • Penile Erection / physiology*
  • Penis / anatomy & histology
  • Penis / physiology