Understanding Peyronie's Disease

Peyronie's disease is a condition that is not well understood. The exact cause of the condition and how to best treat it is often debated. Unfortunately, what is accepted as common knowledge about Peyronie's disease is often incorrect or not up to date. This often leads to limited treatment options being offered to patients or poor outcomes for the options tried, frustrating the physician and patient. Research over the last 10 years has helped to better understand the natural history, pathophysiology, and demographics of the disease. Learning the facts about Peyronie’s disease from the latest research is an essential step in better treatment outcomes.

Myths and The Facts

There are a number of myths about Peyronie’s disease that have been disproved in recent years, highlighted by a better understanding of the incidence of the condition and by the limited number of cases that spontaneously resolve. Equally important to the understanding of the physical aspects of the condition, is an understanding of the emotional impact the condition has on patients.

Myths and the Facts about Peyronie's disease

Correlation with Erectile Dysfunction

There has been a common misunderstanding that there was little to no association between erectile dysfunction and Peyronie’s disease, which has led to many patients being overlooked. A survey of urologist and primary care physicians found that 37% and 48% respectively did not believe that Peyronie’s disease and erectile dysfunction were frequently associated(5). The facts indicate that they are frequently associated and as the result of more recent research, the correlation between Peyronie’s disease and erectile dysfunction is much clearer then previously recognized. A study of 448 men undergoing standard evaluation for erectile dysfunction, found a 16% prevalence of Peyronie’s disease(6) indicating a significant link between the two conditions. Studies have also found the rate of erectile dysfunction is significantly higher in patients with Peyronie’s disease. Published reports indicate that 30% to 80% of men may have erectile dysfunction associated with Peyronie’s disease(7)(8)(9). Including Peyronie’s disease screening as part of routine erectile dysfunction evaluation will allow for more patients to be identified and treated.

[1] Subjective and objective analysis of the prevalence of Peyronie’s disease in a population of men presenting for prostate cancer screening: Mulhall JP, Creech SD, Boorjian SA, Ghaly S, Kim ED, Moty A, Davis R, Hellstrom W. The Journal of Urology- 2004 06 (Vol. 171, Issue 6 (Part 1))
[2] An Analysis of the Natural History of Peyronie's Disease Mulhall JP, Schiff J, Guhring P The Journal of Urology- 2006 06 (Vol. 175, Issue 6)
[3] Tefekli, A., Kandirali, E., Erol, H., Alp, T., Koksal, T. and Kadioglu, A.: Peyronie’s disease in men under 40: characteristics and outcomes. Int J Impot Res, 13: 18, 2001
[4] Gelbard, M.K., Dorey, F. and James, K.: The natural history of Peyronie’s disease. J Urol, 144: 1376, 1990
[5] LaRochelle JC., Levine LA. Survey of primary care physicians and urologists regarding Peyronie's Disease. J Urol 2005;173:254-A941.
[6] Kadioglu A., Oktar T., Kandirali E., Kendirci M., Sanli O., and Ozsoy C. Incidentally diagnosed Peyronie's disease in men presenting with erectile dysfunction. Int J Impot Res 2004; 16: 540–543.
[7] Weidner W, Schroeder-Printzen I, Weiske WH, Vosshenrich R. Sexual dysfunction in Peyronie's disease: An analysis of 222 patients without previous local plaque therapy. J Urol 1997;157:325-8.
[8] Levine LA, Dimitriou RJ. A surgical algorithm for penile prosthesis placement in men with erectile failure and Peyronie's disease. Int J Impot Res 2000;12:147-51.
[9] Deveci S, Palese M, Parker M, Guhring P, Mulhall JP. Erectile function profiles in men with Peyronie's disease. J Urol 2006;175:1807-11.