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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 246-250

Peyronie's disease and erectile dysfunction: Current understanding and future direction

Department of Urology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois - 60612, USA

Correspondence Address:
Laurence A Levine
Department of Urology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois 60612
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-1591.27633

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Peyronie's disease is a physically and psychologically devastating disorder affecting close to 10% of adult men. It is currently believed to be a form of wound healing disorder where there is excessive scar formation in response to a triggering process, most commonly following trauma to the erect penis. In this circumstance, the plaque which is an inelastic scar of the tunica albuginea develops which causes a variety of penile deformities including curvature, indentation, loss of girth and shortening. Frequently pain will accompany erection or direct palpation of the plaque in the early, active phase of this disease, but pain does tend to resolve over time but the deformities tend to remain. In up to 90% of patients there is associated diminished erectile capacity. Fifty percent of the time, men note evidence of erectile dysfunction prior to developing the Peyronie's disease. A variety of factors may contribute to erectile dysfunction in this patient population. Most commonly there is an underlying vascular insufficiency, which may be due to the same processes that result in accelerated atherosclerosis including diabetes, hypertension, smoking, and dyslipidemia. There may also be a substantial psychogenic effect, as we know that the majority of men with Peyronie's disease are significantly psychologically distressed by the changes to their penis. Lastly, there has been some suggestion that the abnormal geometry of the penis may contribute to a reduction of intracavernosal pressure resulting in diminished rigidity. This article briefly reviews what is currently understood about the etiology and presentation of the patient with Peyronie's disease and tries to clarify several of the widely held misconceptions. In addition, there are recommendations for evaluation and a more detailed discussion of the erectile dysfunction associated with Peyronie's disease, as well as appropriate treatment options.

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