Persistent and usually painful erection that lasts for at least four hours in the absence of physical or psychological stimulation, which can be caused by hematologic disorders, including sickle cell disease and leukemia, spinal cord injuries, and medications.

Symptoms of Priapism

The following features are indicative of Priapism:
  • penis erection lasting more than four hours
  • progressive penile pain

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Common Causes of Priapism

The following are the most common causes of Priapism:
  • sickle cell anemia
  • leukemia
  • thalassemia
  • multiple myeloma
  • glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency
  • use of antipsychotics

Other Causes of Priapism

The following are the less common causes of Priapism:
  • use of blood thinners

Risk Factors for Priapism

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Priapism:
  • highly prominent in patients affected with sickle-cell anaemia

Prevention of Priapism

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Priapism. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • use of oral medications used to manage erectile dysfunctioning

Occurrence of Priapism

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Priapism cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Rare between 10K - 50K cases

Common Age Group

Priapism most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 5-50 years

Common Gender

Priapism most commonly occurs in the following gender:
  • Male

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Priapism

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Priapism:
  • Blood gas testing: Helps in diagnosis of blood from the cavernosa of the penis
  • Ultrasound examination: To estimate blood flow through blood vessels by bouncing high-frequency sound waves
  • Toxicology test: To screen for drugs that might be the cause of priapism

Complications of Priapism if untreated

Yes, Priapism causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Priapism is left untreated:
  • permanent scarring of the penis

Procedures for Treatment of Priapism

The following procedures are used to treat Priapism:
  • Administration of distal shunts: A procedure which allows blood to leave the penis and return to the circulation

Time for Treatment of Priapism

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Priapism to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Within 1 week

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Priapism.

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