Evaluation and management of priapism in a newborn: A case report and review of the literature
N Dust | T Daboval | L Guerra
Idiopathic neonatal priapism is a rare and poorly understood phenomenon. The case of an otherwise healthy premature male newborn who was noted to have a persistent penile erection on the first day of life is presented. A Doppler ultrasound of the penis was performed, along with the first-ever cavernous blood gas analysis reported in a newborn. These investigations indicated that the presentation was consistent with nonischemic (arterial or high-flow) priapism. The patient was managed conservatively and the erection resolved fully on the sixth day of life. A review of the existing literature identified polycythemia as the most common identifiable cause of priapism in newborns, but the majority of cases are idiopathic. In most instances, observation alone is appropriate and spontaneous detumescence occurs. There are no published reports of erectile impairment following neonatal priapism, which suggests that this condition is relatively benign in the absence of other disease states.