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March 20, 1972

Ketamine Prevention of Penile Turgescence

JAMA. 1972;219(12):1629. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190380055019

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To the Editor.—  Cystoscopy and operative procedures on the penis can be rendered difficult, if not impossible, if an erection occurs. Since the latter is not uncommon, in spite of general and even regional anesthesia, a method to prevent or reverse this condition would be helpful. Since the turgescence seems to occur in response to external stimuli, it was thought that a dissociative anesthetic such as ketamine might prevent such a response.A limited number of patients (25) were given a does of 1 mg/lb of body weight at the time of induction. Anesthesia was induced and maintained in the usual manner with thiopental and nitrous oxide with a narcotic (anileridine) or halothane. In no case did an erection occur, even though only a single dose of ketamine was administered and the procedure lasted an hour or more. In two additional cases, the same dose of ketamine was administered after