A bump on the road to a life at ease
Peyronie’s disease is named after the French surgeon François Gigot de la Peyronie, who described it in the 18th century.
Peyronie’s disease is a localized connective tissue disorder characterized by changes in collagen composition in the tunica albuginea.1 These changes cause an abnormal scar formation known as Peyronie’s plaque, which is typically a palpable bump under the skin.2,3
The Peyronie’s plaque is composed predominantly of collagen, and replaces the normally elastic fibers of the tunica albuginea. Microvascular trauma resulting from 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. Genetic predisposition and autoimmunity may also play a role in its development.
Intruding on a normal life
The Peyronie’s plaque prevents the normal stretching of the penis during erection and may result in one of the hallmarks of Peyronie’s disease, penile curvature deformity. This curvature deformity may cause significant bother and distress. Peyronie’s disease may also cause other types of deformities, including narrowing, indentation and shortening of the penis.
In a retrospective evaluation (Kadioglu A et al. J Androl. 2011;32(5):502-508), of 1001 consecutive patients presenting with PD during an 18-year period, approximately 35% presented with a deformity angle of 31°‒60°, and nearly 14% presented with a deformity angle >60°.
- Hellstrom WJ. J Androl. 2009;30(4):397-405.
- Ralph D et al. J Sex Med. 2010;7(7):2359-2374.
- Bella AJ et al. J Sex Med. 2007;4(6):1527-1538.