Priapism in the United States: The changing role of sickle cell disease

Kristin L. Chrouser, Onaopemipo B. Ajiboye, Tolulope A. Oyetunji, David C. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background Few patients with priapism require inpatient management unless they are refractory to intracavernosal therapy. Their risk factors and outcomes are poorly characterized. Methods This is a retrospective analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (19982006). Priapism patients were identified and analyzed over time by age, race, sickle-cell disease diagnosis, drug abuse, and penile operations. Results A total of 4,237 hospitalizations for priapism were identified (30% white, 61.1% black, and 6.3% Hispanics). There was an increasing incidence of priapism over time, concentrated in the middle-age group. There were 1,776 patients (41.9%) with diagnoses of sickle-cell disease, with decreasing proportions over time. Drug abuse was reported in 7.9%. Conclusions Inpatient diagnoses of priapism are increasing over time with relatively constant numbers of sickle-cell disease patients, suggesting rising nonhematologic causes of priapism. One theory is that increasing use of aggressive therapies for erectile dysfunction might play a role, especially when combined with drug abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-474
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


  • Epidemiology
  • Keywords
  • Priapism
  • Sickle-cell disease Nationwide Inpatient Sample

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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