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Department of Urology

Neurourology and Male Erectile Dysfunction

UCSF is one of the pioneer centers in the world for research on neurophysiology of voiding dysfunction as well as erectile dysfunction. The program specializes in diagnosing and treating complicated voiding problem as well as erectile dysfunction, priapism and Peyronie’s disease. The goal is to continue the quest of improving patient care through innovative translational research in these two fields.

The UCSF Neurourology Center at Parnassus and Mount Zion is comprised of a clinical and research component. Clinically an integrated approach is employed to determine the cause of male sexual dysfunction, priapism and Peyronie’s disease. Patients are seen at the UCSF Urology Faculty Practice at the Parnassus campus. The research component is housed in the Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory at Mt. Zion.


Male Erectile Dysfunction and Peyronie’s Disease

The UCSF Neurourology Center at Mount Zion uses an integrated approach to determine the cause of male sexual dysfunction. Diagnostic capabilities include Color Doppler ultrasound, which permits a noninvasive functional evaluation of the penile arteries, Pyeronie’s plaque and differentiation of types of priapism. Pharmacologic cavernosometry and cavernosography are used for the evaluation of penile veins. The simplest test is the CIS test, a pharmacologic test of erectile function as a screen test for penile function.

Erectile dysfunction is often treated by one of four methods: pills (such as Viagra), urethral insert (MUSE), vacuum erection device, and penile injections. In select cases of blood vessel blockage or leakage, microvascular surgery may offer a cure. For those who are not candidate or who fail the above treatment, penile prosthesis is an excellent alternative.

Peyronie's disease can also be treated with pills, injection, or surgery depending on the duration and degree of deformity.

Priapism is often a medical emergency and requires color Doppler or blood gas determination to identify the type of priapism. In cases of ischemic priapism, injection of medication or a shunting procedure may be required. For non-ischemic priapism, injection of a clot or a coil through a catheter placed in the ruptured penile artery may be needed.

Erectile Dysfunction Research

The urology laboratory at UCSF is one of the premier research facilities in penile pathophysiology research in the world. Over the past 20 years, many discoveries related to penile physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, Peyronie’s disease and priapism have been made here. Current projects include: 1) The use of growth factors to enhance the formation of new blood vessels in the penis and thus cure erectile dysfunction due to clogged blood vessel; 2) the mechanism of erectile dysfunction after injury to the cavernous nerve, a common complication after surgery for cancer of the prostate, bladder and rectum; 3) innovative approach to re-grow the injured cavernous nerve; 4) pathophysiology of priapism; 5) new therapies for Peyronie’s disease.




Maurice Garcia, MD, MAS
Ben Breyer, MD, MAS
Tom Lue, MD
Ching-Shwun Lin, PhD
Guiting Lin, MD, PhD
James Smith, MD, MS
Emil Tanagho, MD
Stephen Van Den Eeden, PhD

Key Staff

Angina (Gina) Aromin, Practice Assistant

Dennis Troyer, RN, CCRN
Nurse Coordinator

Appointments & Locations

UCSF Medical Center, Parnassus Campus
400 Parnassus Avenue, Suite A-610
San Francisco, CA 94143-0330

Center for Reproductive Health
UCSF Women's Health Center
2356 Sutter Street, 3rd Floor

Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory
UC Hall, 533 Parnassus, Room 212

Contact Number

To schedule an appointment please call us at 415/353-2200

Patient Handouts

Visit our Patient Guides to Urological Treatments section to download Patient Handouts.