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NBME 22 Answers
A 66-year-old man comes to the physician because of ...
Nocturnal erections: normal
When you’re thinking of libido, don’t just equate it to testosterone -- make sure you’re always considering depression! Depression following stroke is common, especially with residual physical disability, so this would decrease his libido. Nocturnal erections equate to “does it actually work?” not just the vasculature but the neural input as well. For example, during prostatectomy damage to the pelvic plexus (nerves) can lead to impotence. There’s nothing to suggest that he has vascular or neurologic erectile dysfunction here, which is why his nocturnal erections are intact.
@liverdietrying Was it premature to assume he has trouble with erections because of neural damage from the stroke? I put low libido, low nocturnal erections. Is it because the stroke resulted in hemiparesis and not autonomic dysfunction or something like that?
@pusheen Correct, you won’t classically get impotence after a hemiplegic stroke. His inability to achieve an erection is much more likely to be 2/2 psychosocial effects than organic disease. If this vignette instead said that this had gotten a prostatectomy with resulting damage to the pelvic nerves that allow for erection, then it’d be a more safe choice to put no nocturnal erections.
Is there a video or somewhere that explains these sexual dysfunctions? This seems to be a topic that keeps repeating on the new exams.
well, i though that because he had a stroke he would be likely to have atherosclerosis, which would keep libido high and reduce nocturnal erections, i kinda ignored the whole "he´s depressed" part of the vignette despite understanding the mechanism well.
but from a clinical depression point of view, if his arteries are intact, and he is depressed, then libido would be low, and erections present at night.
appreciate this kind of effort to look up journal articles but honestly this is not really what nbme answers is for... we should be able to get the answer from process of elimination/basic science concepts and not from looking up studies as we obviously can't do this on the test