Nitrergic Mechanisms for Management of Recurrent Priapism

Uzoma A. Anele, Arthur L. Burnett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Priapism is a condition involving prolonged penile erection unrelated to sexual interest or desire. The ischemic type, including its recurrent variant, is often associated with both physical and psychological complications. As such, management is of critical importance. Ideal therapies for recurrent priapism should address its underlying pathophysiology. Aim: To review the available literature on priapism management approaches particularly related to nitrergic mechanisms. Methods: A literature review of the pathophysiology and management of priapism was performed using PubMed. Main Outcome Measure: Publications pertaining to mechanisms of the molecular pathophysiology of priapism. Results: Nitrergic mechanisms are characterized as major players in the molecular pathophysiology of priapism. Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors represent an available therapeutic option with demonstrated ability in attenuating these underlying nitrergic derangements. Several additional signaling pathways have been found to play a role in the molecular pathophysiology of priapism and have also been associated with these nitrergic mechanisms. Conclusion: An increasing understanding of the molecular pathophysiology of priapism has led to the discovery of new potential targets. Several mechanism-based therapeutic approaches may become available in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-168
Number of pages9
JournalSexual Medicine Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Nitric Oxide
  • Recurrent Ischemic Priapism
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology


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