Priapism is rare yet has the potential to inflict significant suffering on patients, often with lasting consequences such as erectile dysfunction, corporal muscle necrosis, and a loss of sexual function. Although rare, it is a pathology that has received little focus in the literature, particularly that caused by malignancy, and it is in this form that the long-term prognosis becomes particularly poor.
This review looks at malignant priapism in detail moving from the etiology and pathogenesis through investigations and management to provide an up-to-date picture.
In so doing, more than 30 articles are reviewed and examined from databases such as PubMed. Significant cases are provided as examples to provide a comprehensive review of a topic that receives little attention but can cause significant patient morbidity.
The main outcome measure was the use of aspiration, sympathomimetics, and surgery as the main treatment modalities and how each one is used with regard to both the underlying etiology of the priapism and also the prognosis. We look at the need for treatment and how that relates to quality of life and erectile function thereafter.
Solid tumor invasion-both primary and secondary-and hematologic malignancies represent the key etiologies of malignant priapism and aggressive treatment is needed. Recovery of erectile function can occur if intracavernosal phenylephrine is quickly administered or distal shunts are placed; however, the prognosis is often poor, and subsequent chemotherapy treatment is often required.
The importance of a clear history and examination cannot be understated, and although the prognosis is often poor, this review hopes to give clinicians better understanding to be able to recognize malignancy as a potential cause of priapism. Ralph O, Shroff N, Johnson MJ, et al. Malignancy: A Rare, Important and Poorly Understood Cause of Priapism. J Sex Med 2019; XX:XXX-XXX.
Sexual medicine reviews. 2020 Jan 02 [Epub ahead of print]
Oliver Ralph, Nikita Shroff, Mark James Johnson, Hussain M AlNajjar, David Ralph
Department of Engineering, University College London Hospital, 47 Wimpole St, London W1G 8SE, UK., Department of Urology, University College London Hospital, 47 Wimpole St, London W1G 8SE, UK., Department of Urology, University College London Hospital, 47 Wimpole St, London W1G 8SE, UK. Electronic address: .