- Abnormally persistent erection of the penis in the absence of sexual desire. Priapism can occur in persons with sickle cell anemia. Named after Priapus, the Greek and Roman god of procreation, whose nude statues were placed in fields as scarecrows (where their attributes became well known).
* * *Persistent erection of the penis, accompanied by pain and tenderness, resulting from a pathologic condition rather than sexual desire; a term loosely used as a synonym for satyriasis. [see priapus]
* * *pri·a·pism 'prī-ə-.piz-əm n an abnormal, more or less persistent, and often painful erection of the penis esp one caused by disease rather than sexual desire Pri·a·pus prī-'ā-pəs Greek mythological character. A god of gardens and fertility, Priapus was the son of Aphrodite, who disowned him because he had a grotesque little body with a huge penis. He was a member of the retinue of the god Dionysus and chased after nymphs.
* * *n.a persistent and usually painful erection of the penis that requires urgent decompression; occasionally, however, it can be painless, in which case its treatment is less urgent. A prolonged erection (i.e. of greater than six hours duration), resulting from administration of papaverine, intracorporeal alprostadil, or a similar drug, can be successfully treated by draining the blood from the corpora cavernosa of the penis with a 19 SWG butterfly needle and instilling a vasoconstrictor (e.g. phenylephrine). Priapism may also occur in patients with sickle-cell disease and those undergoing haemodialysis. An unrelieved priapism results in eventual fibrosis of the spongy tissue of the corpora and no further erections are possible.
* * *pri·a·pism (priґə-piz″əm) [L. priapismus; Gr. priapismos] persistent abnormal erection of the penis, usually without sexual desire, accompanied by pain and tenderness; causes include diseases and injuries of the spinal cord, vesical calculus, and certain injuries to the penis.
Priapism in a youth.
Medical dictionary. 2011.