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Peyronie's disease: Diagnosis and medical management

William O Brant, MD, FACS, FECSM
Anthony J Bella, MD, FRCSC
Tom F Lue, MD, ScD (Hon), FACS
Section Editor
Michael P O'Leary, MD, MPH
Deputy Editor
Howard Libman, MD, FACP


Peyronie's disease (PD) is an acquired, localized fibrotic disorder of the tunica albuginea resulting in penile deformity, mass, pain, and, in some men, erectile dysfunction. The disorder is named after Francois Gigot de la Peyronie, surgeon to King Louis XIV, who in 1743 described "rosary beads" of scar tissue extending the full length of the dorsal penis in a treatise on ejaculatory failure [1].

PD can resolve spontaneously in a minority of cases while others have stable disease. However, nearly half of patients will have worsening within one year. PD can be a psychologically and physically disabling disorder, leading to a lower quality of life. Diagnosis is generally straightforward, based on history and physical examination. Ultrasound can also be used to confirm fibrotic plaque.

The efficacy of medical management for PD is limited. Treatment options typically include oral or intralesional drug therapy. In most cases, medical management should be initiated once the diagnosis of PD is made. Surgical management may be considered for patients who have penile deformity compromising sexual function and whose PD has persisted for more than 12 months, regardless of previous medical therapy.

The diagnosis and medical management of PD will be reviewed here. Surgical management of PD and general issues relating to male sexual dysfunction are discussed separately. (See "Surgical management of Peyronie's disease" and "Overview of male sexual dysfunction".)


Many clinicians, including urologists, have the misconception that Peyronie's disease (PD) is a rare condition, based on previous case reports documenting prevalence of ≤1 percent [2,3]. Contemporary estimates are several-fold higher, perhaps partly due to the introduction of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors for erectile dysfunction leading to improved general awareness among patients and clinicians.

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Aug 18, 2017.
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