A nonimaging scintillation probe to measure penile hemodynamics

L. S. Zuckier, G. R. Korupolu, M. Gladshteyn, R. Sattenberg, R. Goldstein, R. Ricciardi, P. Goodwin, Arnold Melman, M. D. Blaufox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We have developed a penile nonimaging scintillation (PNIS) probe consisting of a plastic well-type scintillation crystal interfaced to a portable computer and acquisition board. This report describes the design of the PNIS probe, performance characteristics, mode of usage and illustrative results which demonstrate its capabilities. Methods: With the PNIS probe, penile blood-pool studies were performed in nine patients utilizing 3.7 MBq (100 μCi) autologous 99mTc-labeled red blood cells (RBCs). Venous blood standards were assayed to enable conversion of the count rate to volummetric measurements. Washin of peripherally administered 99mTc-RBCs was mathematically analyzed to estimate penile blood volume and cavernosal flow rate in the flaccid state. The rate of change of penile blood volume after intracavernosal vasodilators was used to generate measures of stimulated flow. Results: A major advantage of this device over the gamma-camera is a 3300-fold increase in count rate sensitivity, which allows for markedly improved temporal resolution while significantly reducing the radiopharmaceutical dosage. Additionally, the PNIS probe is portable, economical and is not dependent on operator-defined regions of interest. Count rate sensitivity is relatively constant within the bore, with the exception of the proximal region adjacent to the opening, where geometric efficiency is reduced. Conclusion: The PNIS probe is an effective device for measuring penile activity in radionuclide studies, allowing for acquisition of time-activity curves of the penis during flaccid washin of peripherally labeled red blood cells and after pharmacologic stimulation to induce erection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2345-2351
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • erectile dysfunction
  • penile hemodynamics
  • scintillation probe
  • technetium-99m-red-blood cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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