Priapism is the condition of penile erection in the absence of sexual arousal.1 The name is derived from the Greco-Roman god Priapus, a fertility deity who was always depicted with a continuously erect phallus.2 Priapism is divided into two variants, ischemic priapism (IP, formerly known as low-flow or venocclusive priapism) and non-ischemic (NIP, formerly known as high-flow or arterial priapism).3 Distinguishing ischemic from non-ischemic priapism is critical as management differs markedly. Stuttering priapism is a term frequently used to describe recurrent episodes of IP. These episodes may be self-limited but can be very painful and may over time lead to corporal tissue damage. Approximately one quarter of men with an episode of priapism present with recurrence within one year.4
Priapism was first recognized in the Western medical literature in 1616 AD.5 Despite this long history, it remains a poorly understood and researched clinical problem.
1.1 Key words
priapism, ischemic priapism, low flow priapism, non-ischemic priapism, high flow priapism, recurrent priapism, stuttering priapism, intermittent priapism, prolonged erection
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