Peyronie’s disease is a localised connective tissue disorder characterised by changes in collagen composition in the tunica albuginea.1

These changes cause an abnormal scar formation known as a Peyronie’s plaque, which is typically a palpable bump under the skin.1,2 The Peyronie’s plaque is composed predominantly of collagen, and replaces the normally elastic fibres of the tunica albuginea.1

Microvascular trauma resulting from excessive bending or injury to the penis (possibly during sexual activity) is thought to be an important trigger for the inflammatory response and plaque development characteristic of Peyronie’s disease.1,2,3 Genetic predisposition and autoimmunity may also play a role in its development.1,2,3

One of the most prominent signs of Peyronie’s disease is penile curvature deformity, most notable during an erection.1 Peyronie’s disease may also cause other types of deformities, including narrowing, indentation, and shortening of the penis.2

In the early stages, there is often an inflammatory component that causes pain, typically lasting from 6 to 18 months.4 Up to 48% of men will experience disease progression, whereas spontaneous resolution occurs in approximately 12% of men.1,2,4

Patients may experience detrimental psychological consequences as a result of their Peyronie's disease, with loss of self-esteem, relationship difficulties, social isolation, anger, depression and fear of rejection potentially causing an avoidance of intimacy.4

Both surgical and non-surgical treatment options are available that can improve the lives of patients with Peyronie's disease.

References

  1. Hellstrom WJ. J Androl 2009; 30:397–405.
  2. Ralph D et al. J Sex Med 2010; 7:2359–74.
  3. Moreland RB et al. Int J Impot Res 2002; 14:406-10.
  4. Bella AJ et al. J Sex Med 2007; 4:1527–38.