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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 4-8

Priapism: A review

Urology Unit, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Fred O Ugwumba
Department of Surgery, UNTH, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Aim: To explore the aetiological factors, pathogenesis and management of priapism and highlight its peculiar features in Nigerians. Materials & Methods: A literature search was carried out using MEDLINE, these were reviewed in line with the aims for meaningful findings and case reports. Results: Priapism is currently classified into low flow (Ischaemic) and high flow (nonischaemic) priapism, with low flow being commoner, in all communities and in association with sickle cell disease. Hypoxia associated with low flow priapism is usually associated with varying degress of erectile dysfunction [ED]. High flow priapism is usually associated with trauma and is a non-ischaemic painless event. Low flow priapism also associated with drug treatment of erectile dysfunction, psychiatric disorders and malignant infiltration of the penis. Management ranges from conservative to a spectrum of surgical interventions. In Nigeria some patients, are noted to have developed priapism following ingestion of oral herbal aphrodisiacs. Conclusion: Priapism is an emergency with dire effects on erectile function when treatment is delayed. A clear understanding of the aetiological factors and pathogenesis is useful in aiding rapid diagnosis and treatment. Preventive strategies need to be established where possible.

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