Malignant priapism: case report and update on management protocols

Seyed Sajjad Tabei, Wesley Baas, Anthony Brooks, Eric H. Kim, Zachary Smith, Gregory P. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Malignant priapism, a rare disease with only about 500 reported cases to date, consists of persistent erection secondary to invasion or metastasis of a primary neoplasm. While treatment guidelines for priapism in non-malignant cases have been established, there is currently no guideline for treating malignant priapism. Herein, we describe three cases of malignant priapism and suggest a step-by-step approach for clinical management. Case Description: This study reports three cases of malignant priapism resulting from advanced genitourinary cancers. All patients experienced a sub-acute progression of penile pain and ultimately underwent palliative penectomy, resulting in sustained symptom relief. Conclusions: Treatment of malignant priapism needs to be individualized to the needs of the patient. No matter the primary or secondary nature of the disease, current data suggest that malignant priapism is associated with poor outcomes and emphasis should be put on palliative care. Similar to previous cases, our cases died shortly after the diagnosis of malignant priapism. Conventional procedures such as shunting may not necessarily provide symptom relief in these patients. Although new radiation techniques have shown favorable outcomes, penectomy should be considered the last resort in clinical management. Revisions to the existing management guidelines for priapism are necessary to address its occurrence in malignant contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1607-1613
Number of pages7
JournalTranslational Andrology and Urology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • case report
  • genitourinary neoplasm
  • malignant priapism
  • Priapism
  • urogenital neoplasm


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