MARS: First international, multicentre, observational study regarding priapism

17 October 2021 By Prof. Giorgio Russo (Catania, IT)

We would like to present to our readers the first international, multicentre, observational study regarding priapism: “the MARS study (ManAgement of pRiapiSm and its impact on outcomes: an international register; NCT04932902).” The project is conducted by the YAU Sexual and Reproductive Health Group and the EAU Research Foundation.

The project
The principal target of the MARS study is to shed light on what may be the response to medical surgical treatment in patients with priapism. In particular, the MARS study aims to set up a rational data collection that has a solid scientific basis.

Priapism is a urological emergency that is defined as a prolonged penile erection lasting more than 4 hours despite orgasm and in the absence of sexual stimulation. It causes time-dependent smooth muscle damage that can result in significant morbidity (including permanent erectile dysfunction (ED), penile shortening, penile curvature, and loss of girth) without prompt intervention.

Evidence-based treatments are lacking
Despite the very high burden of priapism and its time-dependent adverse effect on erectile function, few studies have comprehensively defined the clinical epidemiology of this complication. Nor have any studies compared sexual dysfunction in men with sickle cell disease (SCD) with the sexual dysfunction in those without it. Evidence-based treatment strategies for priapism are currently lacking, especially with regard to sexual function. Even today, the published studies show considerable bias in terms of sample size, evaluation of reproducible outcomes, use of internationally validated questionnaires, well-defined follow-up evaluation as well as the evaluation of outcomes after medical or surgical treatment. The aim of our study is to evaluate the impact of the management of priapism from a sexual and clinical long-term-outcomes point of view.

How does it work?
Our purpose is to create an international register that could be a starting point for the creation of a solid, scientific, evidence-based approach regarding priapism. Taking part is simple. Moreover, you will become part of what could potentially be the largest prospective study on priapism treatment ever performed. Anybody who works in a centre and treats cases of priapism can quickly and easily enter the data into our online secure database (powered by Castor®). All contributors will receive PubMed indexed collaborator authorship. The highest recruiting individuals will be invited on the writing committee. The more patients you recruit, the higher up the collaborative list you will be. And the more likely it is you will be asked to present the study findings at conferences.

Prospects
The expectations for the present proposal vary. First, we hope to acquire more knowledge about sexual function in patients with priapism using prospective, multicentre data with objective and reliable variables. Second, these data will have a significant impact on current EAU guidelines and recommendations. Finally, from a clinical point of view, these data could be useful to establish new treatments for the management of priapism. You will find more information here or you can send an email to giorgioivan.russo@unict.it to ask for participation and receive a registration account.

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