Post-traumatic arterial priapism: colour Doppler examination and superselective arterial embolization

Clin Radiol. 1998 Nov;53(11):830-4. doi: 10.1016/s0009-9260(98)80195-5.


Purpose: To evaluate selective embolization for management of post-traumatic priapism and colour Doppler sonography for the diagnosis of the causative lesion and for planning embolization.

Materials and methods: Six male patients with post-traumatic priapism underwent selective angiography and embolization. Colour Doppler sonography with grey-scale was performed in all six patients before angiography.

Results: Selective angiography showed intracavernosal arteriovenous fistulas in all patients and pseudoaneurysm of the cavernosal artery (or common penile artery) in three patients. After successful embolization, detumescence was achieved in all patients. Colour Doppler sonography enabled localization and characterization of the lesion causing priapism in four patients. Grey-scale ultrasonography showed the dilated cavernosal sinuses in all patients.

Conclusion: Angiography with selective embolization is safe and effective method to correct post-traumatic priapism. Colour Doppler sonography with grey scale is a useful preangiographic study, as it allows for characterization and localization of the causative lesion except lesions at the proximal cavernosal or distal penile artery near the symphysis pubis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aneurysm, False / diagnostic imaging
  • Angiography
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / diagnostic imaging
  • Child
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Penis / blood supply
  • Perineum / injuries
  • Priapism / diagnostic imaging*
  • Priapism / etiology
  • Priapism / therapy*
  • Radiography, Interventional / methods
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color*
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / complications*