Stuttering priapism: Insights into pathogenesis and management

Belinda F. Morrison, Arthur L. Burnett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Priapism is defined as a persistent, painful erection that continues beyond, or is unrelated to, sexual stimulation. It may be categorized as either ischemic (low/absent flow) or nonischemic (high flow). Stuttering priapism is a variant of the ischemic type that is characterized by repetitive, transient, painful, self-limiting episodes of priapism. It is associated with various hematological disorders, including sickle cell disease and pharmacological treatments. The consequences of ineffective treatment of priapism are erectile dysfunction and impaired quality of life due to chronic pain and physical disfigurement. Many of the existing medical therapeutic options for treatment of stuttering priapism are nonmechanistic and associated with significant adverse effects. However, the scientific knowledge of stuttering priapism has transitioned in the past few years, from a condition that is poorly understood to one that has borne a burst of evolving molecular science. In this review, the pathophysiology of priapism is discussed, with particular emphasis on new molecular effectors and mechanisms. Novel treatment methods, as well as potential future agents, based on the emerging molecular evidence are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-276
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent urology reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Androgen
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Erection
  • Ischemicpriapism
  • Nitric oxide
  • Penis
  • Phosphodiesterase type 5
  • Priapism
  • Sicklecelldisease
  • Stuttering priapism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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