Evaluation of erectile function in men with sickle cell disease

Arthur L. Burnett, Richard R. Allen, Clare M. Tempany, George J. Dover, Charles B. Brendler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objectives: To evaluate and characterize erectile manifestations associated with sickle cell disease using nocturnal penile tumescence testing with polysomnography (NPT/PSG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the penis. Methods: Six variably potent men with sickle cell disease, of whom 5 reported a history of priapism, underwent comprehensive evaluations of erectile function. Evaluations involved a medical history and physical examination with completion of priapism and sexual function questionnaires, followed by NPT/PSG and MRI of the penis. Results: Many different erectile abnormalities were identified in this group using NPT/PSG, although nocturnal erection durations as well as detumescence times were uniformly prolonged. Various axial rigidity measurements were obtained, which correlated fairly well with individual reports of erectile function. MRI findings ranged from normal corporeal anatomy to corporeal destruction with intracorporeal fibrosis and hemosiderin deposition. Conclusions: In sickle cell disease, the erectile dysfunction that commonly occurs may be markedly different among men with this disease and may not always be predicted on the basis of clinical history of priapism. Generally, clinical assessments of erectile function may be derived from clinical histories and physical examinations. NPT/PSG and MRI of the penis are in accord with these assessments, obviating their routine use, although they may be valuable management adjuncts in certain situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-663
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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