Through Clinical Observation: The History of Priapism After Spinal Cord Injuries

World Neurosurg. 2018 Jan:109:365-371. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2017.10.041. Epub 2017 Oct 18.


Since ancient times, physicians of antiquity noted the occurrence of priapism in some spinal cord injuries. Although priests saw it as a consequence of curses and witchcraft, after clinical observations of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the first medical hypotheses emerged in the 17th-19th centuries completed and argued by neuroscience and neurology developed in the European laboratories and hospitals. This study aims to present a short overview of the history of clinical observations of posttraumatic male priapism after spinal cord injuries since antiquity until the beginning of the 20th century.

Keywords: History of neurosurgery; Male priapism; Spinal cord injury.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Europe
  • History, 15th Century
  • History, 16th Century
  • History, 17th Century
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, Ancient
  • History, Medieval
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Priapism / history*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / history*