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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 503536, 9 pages
Research Article

Cerebral Activity Changes in Different Traditional Chinese Medicine Patterns of Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction Patients

1The 3rd Teaching Hospital, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan 610075, China
2The Urology and Andrology Department, Sichuan Integrative Medicine Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, China
3The Urology and Andrology Department, The 1st Teaching Hospital, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan 610072, China
4The Urology and Andrology Department, Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital of Meishan City, Meishan, Sichuan 620010, China
5Life Sciences Research Center, School of Life Sciences and Technology, Xidian University, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710071, China
6The Andrology Department, The 2nd Teaching Hospital, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, China
7Department of Radiology, The Center for Medical Imaging, Huaxi MR Research Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, China
8The Andrology Department, Xiyuan Hospital of China Academy of Chinese Medical Science, Beijing 100091, China

Received 4 November 2014; Revised 3 January 2015; Accepted 16 January 2015

Academic Editor: Ka-Fai Chung

Copyright © 2015 Qi Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Pattern differentiation is the foundation of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). This study aims to investigate the differences in cerebral activity in ED patients with different TCM patterns. Methods. 27 psychogenic ED patients and 27 healthy subjects (HS) were enrolled in this study. Each participant underwent an fMRI scan in resting state. The fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF) was used to detect the brain activity changes in ED patients with different patterns. Results. Compared to HS, ED patients showed an increased cerebral activity in bilateral cerebellum, insula, globus pallidus, parahippocampal gyrus, orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and middle cingulate cortex (MCC). Compared to the patients with liver-qi stagnation and spleen deficiency pattern (LSSDP), the patients with kidney-yang deficiency pattern (KDP) showed an increased activity in bilateral brainstem, cerebellum, hippocampus, and the right insula, thalamus, MCC, and a decreased activity in bilateral putamen, medial frontal gyrus, temporal pole, and the right caudate nucleus, OFC, anterior cingulate cortex, and posterior cingulate cortex (). Conclusions. The ED patients with different TCM patterns showed different brain activities. The differences in cerebral activity between LSSDP and KDP were mainly in the emotion-related regions, including prefrontal cortex and cingulated cortex.