OBJECTIVE:To evaluate the prospective use of the thermography diagnostic system in assessing sexual function in patients with erectile dysfunction (ED). STUDY DESIGN:Thermographs were taken on 14 subjects in a clinical trial conducted at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. After a thorough clinical interview with a standardized questionnaire, patients were scanned for baseline temperature profile before being given an oral dose of sildenafil 100 mg. Subjects were scanned again in the same setting an hour later. If so desired, subjects were given visual stimulation and were allowed minimum direct stimulation, excluding the penis, to elicit erection. Temperature profiles were analyzed using the thermography analysis software in the VarioCAM camera. RESULTS:Three representative cases are presented to illustrate the potential for using the Infrared thermography (IR) diagnostic system in differentiating psychogenic ED. IR was able to capture a significant difference in blood flow to the corpus cavernosum. Subjects with psychogenic ED have higher surface temperatures (34.3 degrees C +/- 0.71 in the flaccid state and 35.3 degrees C +/- 0.2 during erection) compared to subjects with organic ED (33.64 degrees C +/- 0.4 in flaccid and 33.55 degrees C +/- 0.91 during erection). The difference in surface temperature between flaccid and erected states in subjects with organic ED was not significant. DISCUSSION:The proposed diagnostic test based on IR has tremendous clinical potential in differentiating psychogenic ED from organic ED. IR could potentially be a portable, noninvasive and convenient adjunct in the diagnosis and management of ED.