Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Quantitative measurements of the collagen types (I, III, and IV) in the corpora cavernosa of potent and impotent men were carried out to investigate whether quantitative immunohistochemistry might contribute additional information as to the cause of erectile dysfunction. The study group consisted of 22 men with various etiologies of impotence and 4 normal, potent men. The quantitative immunohistochemistry measurements were performed by means of a cell-image processor. Three variables for each of the three types of collagen were studied, namely, the mean optical density (MOD), which relates to histochemical staining intensity; the labeling index (LI), which is positively related to the percentage of immunostaining; and the quick score (QS) index, which takes into account both LI and MOD values. None of the quantitative parameters taken individually (monovariate statistical analyses) made it possible to obtain any statistically significant difference between the types of collagen of the group under study. The mean QS value recorded for collagen type IV was significantly lower than that noted for collagen type I in the psychogenic (P = 0.019), arteriogenic (P = 0.012), and venogenic (P = 0.001) groups, whereas the MOD value was significantly lower in the normal (P = 0.043), arteriogenic (P = 0.013), and venogenic (P = 0.001) groups but not in the psychogenic group. The mean MOD of collagen type III was intermediate between that of the other types. In contrast, the mean LI value recorded for collagen type IV was significantly lower only in the venogenic (P = 0.032) and psychogenic (P = 0.049) groups as compared with the other groups. No objective qualitative change in the collagen types was observed that could be correlated to the etiology of erectile dysfunction. The significant difference seen in the quantitative parameters with regard to collagen type IV and the observed increase in the type I/III collagen ratio might attest to the notion that the response of the erectile tissue to ischemia is similar to that of other organs. The net effect of these changes is a restricted capacity for corporal expansion and alteration of the veno-occlusive mechanism.
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