Oral Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitors in Recurrent Priapism Complicating Thalassemia Intermedia: A Case Report


Recurrent priapism is a rare, serious and difficult to treat complication of some hematological disorders, for which no standard therapy exists. This study reports a case of a 42-year-old man with thalassemia intermedia complicated by recurrent episodes of priapism. To prevent priapism recurrences, a trial of PDE5is use was initiated. One day after initiation of a PDE5i (25 mg sildenafil repeated every 8 hours), priapism was improved. For 3 weeks, the patient reported improvement, without experiencing any episodes of priapism and a normal physiologic erectile function. Four weeks after treatment he experienced priapism reoccurrence and doubling of the Sildenafil was not effective. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist initiated and one week after initiatin of new drug he improved. He was free of priapism episodes for more than 2 years afterward. PDE5 deregulation seems to be an underling pathologic mechanism of recurrent priapism at least in thalassemia intermedia patients. It appears that PDE5is may have a role in the management of such patients and further testing in clinical trials is needed.

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Maleki, D. (2014) Oral Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitors in Recurrent Priapism Complicating Thalassemia Intermedia: A Case Report. Case Reports in Clinical Medicine, 3, 327-330. doi: 10.4236/crcm.2014.36072.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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