Penile emergencies: a review of the main conditions

Abstract Acute penile conditions, which typically have a traumatic, vascular, or infectious etiology, are rather uncommon and often require prompt medical evaluation. Penile emergencies can be treated conservatively or surgically, and their management often relies on the results of imaging examinations. Because of its high spatial resolution and wide availability, as well as the fact that it does not involve the use of ionizing radiation, ultrasound is the imaging modality of choice in the initial evaluation of penile emergencies. Inconclusive cases can be further evaluated with magnetic resonance imaging. The main purpose of this pictorial essay is to review the main penile emergencies, by presenting illustrative cases, focusing on radiologic findings, and discussing the roles played by the various imaging methods.