John P. Mulhall, MD

John P. Mulhall, MD

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

New York, New York

John P. Mulhall, MD, is the director of the Male Sexual and Reproductive Medicine Program and the director of the Sexual Medicine Research Laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City. Dr. Mulhall holds an adjunct position as Professor of Urology in the Department of Urology at Weill Cornell Medical College. He earned his medical degree from University College Dublin in Ireland and completed his urology residency training at University of Connecticut Health Center and his sexual/reproductive medicine & surgery fellowship training at Boston University Medical Center. Dr. Mulhall has spent more than a decade studying radical prostatectomy associated with sexual dysfunctions and Peyronie’s Disease in laboratory and in clinical studies. His basic research interests include defining the pathobiology of Peyronie’s disease fibroblasts and erectile function preservation in cavernous nerve injury models. Dr. Mullhall is a board-certified urologist and a microsurgeon who specializes in sexual and reproductive medicine and surgery. As a microsurgeon, he performs delicate procedures using operating microscopes and miniaturized precision instruments on the very small structures in the genitourinary tract. As part of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Survivorship Initiative, Dr. Mulhall and his team have established a Male Sexual and Reproductive Medicine Program, which is devoted entirely to the care of men who have suffered sexual difficulties or fertility problems as a result of their cancer or cancer treatment. He directs the sexual and reproductive medicine team, which includes a nurse practitioner, a nurse, and a psychologist.


Talks by John P. Mulhall, MD

Contemporary Management of Recurrent Idiopathic Priapism

John P. Mulhall, MD, Director of the Male Sexual and Reproductive Medicine Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, defines recurrent idiopathic priapism (RIP) (repeated priapism events without an overt cause) and explains that management follows all the tenets of ischemic priapism treatment. He explains the focus of treatment should be to give a patient tools to avoid an emergency room (ER) visit. Dr. Mulhall advises clinicians to begin treatment for persistently rigid pharmacologically-induced erections no later than four hours after the onset of symptoms and to counsel all patients with persistent ischemic priapism that there is the chance of erectile dysfunction. Further, Dr. Mulhall advises clinicians to counsel patients with a priapism event >36 hours that the likelihood of erectile function recovery is low. He states that clinicians should manage acute ischemic priapism with intracavernosal phenylephrine and corporal aspiration, with or without irrigation, as the first line of therapy and prior to operative interventions. Dr. Mulhall then displays a graphic showing that pathway dysregulation of the enzyme PDE5 may result in, or contribute to, RIP; he concludes that this is not a complete explanation of the condition. Next, Dr. Mulhall outlines emergency maneuvers that he advises practitioners to train their patients to undergo, using in-home intracavernosal phenylephrine for erections lasting more than one to two hours and visiting a clinic or ER if the at-home treatment is unsuccessful. He highlights the importance of educating patients regarding hypertension/reflex bradycardia when using intracavernosal phenylephrine. Next, he explains that mitigation strategies revolve around the use of PDE5i, ketoconazole/prednisone, anti-androgens, and LHRH agonists. He then cites a 2005 publication stating that phosphodiesterase-5A dysregulation in penile erectile tissue is a mechanism of priapism, pointing out that this is different from sickle-cell disease, and qualifying once again that this does not explain the condition completely. Dr. Mulhall then cites a case report on long-term oral phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor therapy and its alleviation of recurrent priapism, pointing out that with just a few patients involved, the report, while thought-provoking, is not definitive. He reviews an article that lists various treatments and addresses their degrees of efficacy, highlighting one—ketoconazole with prednisone—that he calls his “go-to strategy.” Dr. Mulhall cites a study of 114 men diagnosed with RIP whereby 42 were initiated on PDE5i therapy and 24 were evaluable; of them, 22 reported improvement in priapism, but Dr. Mulhall explains the limitations of this particular trial and asserts more studies are needed. He explains a related concept, sleep-related painful erections (SRPE), explaining that some treatments for RIP are used with SRPE and he posits that these patients may be on the lower end of the RIP spectrum. He then summarizes his talk, highlighting key points: there is an unclear mechanism of action in RIP; practitioners should treat these episodes like ischemic priapism; patients should receive training in at-home phenylephrine injection (including a discussion of its risks); and mitigation strategies include the use of ketoconazole/prednisone treatment.

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Testosterone and PSA—A Critical Relationship

John P. Mulhall, MD, discusses the results and implications of a study evaluating the relationship between testosterone and PSA levels in men with prostate cancer. He suggests that these findings indicate that in men with documented prostate cancer, the presence of a pretreatment PSA value below 2 should raise questions about a patient’s testosterone level.

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Clinical Care Pathway for Anejaculation

John P. Mulhall, MD, the chair of the committee for the American Urological Association (AUA) testosterone guidelines, summarizes indications regarding anejaculation. He explains the anatomical and physiological differences of retrograde ejaculation and failure of emission, and possible etiologies for these symptoms. Furthermore, he reviews the recommendations for diagnosis, management, and use of electroejaculation for semen retrieval.

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