Peyronie's Disease (Curvature of the Penis)

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

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What are the symptoms of Peyronie's disease?

The symptoms of Peyronie's disease usually are a combination of one or more symptoms as follows:

  • Unusual angulation of the penile shaft (either when flaccid or erect or both)
  • Pain during erections and/or during sex
  • Scarring or plaque palpated at the abnormal bend or angle of the penis
  • An indentation of the penis shaft at the site of the plaque or scarring
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Anxiety/stress
  • Inability to have intercourse

What are the phases of Peyronie's disease?

There are, in general, two phases of Peyronie's disease.

  1. The acute phase lasts about 18 to 24 months and usually has the highest pain component.
  2. The chronic phase (begins at about 18 to 24 months after first symptoms) usually has less pain but in this stage, the plaque or scarring is more refractory to treatment (see below) and may begin to develop large calcium deposits (calcified plaque or scarring).

How is Peyronie's disease diagnosed?

The patient's history of pain with erections and/or sex and the physical examination of the penis that shows abnormal angulation of the penile shaft or the presence of plaque or scarring felt or palpated in the penis is usually the basis for diagnosis. Urologists are specialists that usually diagnose and treat this disease. There are no definitive blood tests for this disease, although a human cell antigen, HLA-B7 has been associated with the disease. In general no additional tests are necessary, but ultrasound techniques, when accompanied by an injection of drug into the penis (intercavernous injection) can help show the doctor where and how extensive is the scarring, and aid the doctor in determining treatments.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/19/2015
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