Chronic myeloid leukaemia presenting with priapism as the only symptom: A case report and review of literature

  • O.O. Alao
  • I.A. Nwannadi
  • E.I. Ogwuche
  • I.H. Aba
Keywords: Priapism, Chronic myeloid leukaemia, erectile dysfunction


Objective: There have been few reports of priapism as complications of various haematological malignancies. Delays in establishing the cause and late institution of appropriate intervention in patients suffering from priapism could result in long-term complications, especially erectile dysfunction. We present here a case of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) in a 30 year old male who presented with priapism as the only symptom. Apart from presenting this as a rare case report, it also emphasizes the need for early full blood count in patients presenting with priapism.

Methods: The case note of the patient, as well as all available literature on the subject were reviewed.

Results: The 30 year old man who presented with a 9 (nine) day history of persistent painful non-sexually related penile erection was found to have chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) following peripheral and bone marrow aspiration studies. He however had a delay in referral and diagnosis of his primary condition and eventually had erectile dysfunction. The priapism responded well to surgical intervention and use of cyto-reductive therapy. The erectile dysfunction could have been averted if complete blood count and, or peripheral blood film were carried out at the time of first presentation

Conclusion: Priapism due to hyperviscosity can be the first presentation in patients with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia, and CML should therefore always be considered in a patient with priapism. High Index of Suspicion, as well as early full blood count and peripheral blood/Bone marrow examination among patients presenting with priapism will facilitate prompt and correct diagnosis, and reduce, if not prevent erectile dysfunction and other severe complications that may arise from priapism.

Keywords: Priapism, Chronic myeloid leukaemia, erectile dysfunction

Original Article

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2467-8252
print ISSN: 2360-7793