Peyronie’s Disease: Patient Evaluation


The evaluation of a man suspected of having PD should begin with a thorough medical his-tory that probes the etiology (e.g., inciting events or trauma), level of disability (i.e., the ability to have intercourse, erectile function, and psychosocial effects), duration of disease, and degree of curvature. Risk factors for severe PD and general medical concerns should be identified with this evaluation. This data collection can be facilitated by utilizing a disease-specific questionnaire. A patient-supplied photograph of the erect penis can be beneficial in characterizing the degree of deformity, although the measurement of curvature from this image may underestimate the degree of curvature.

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Physical Exam

A directed physical examination is critical to confirm the diagnosis and determine disease severity. The key components of the exam include the genitalia and extremities. Loss of penile length is a common complaint and can worsen over time. Given this, the measurement of stretched penile length provides key information. Plaque characteristics should be noted for their position, size, tenderness to palpation, texture (i.e., calcifications), and number. The hands and feet should be examined for the cord-like thickening of Dupuytren’s contractures or Lederhose’s disease. Other findings may be non-specific; for example, plantar fasciitis is a common complaint in the general population.

Measurement of Erectile Function and Degree of Curvature

Several validated questionnaires (SHIM, SEAR, QEQ, etc.) can evaluate erectile function in men with PD. In situations of uncertainty regarding a patient’s erectile function, a cavernosal injection and self stimulation (CIS) test should be performed using vasoactive agents. The CIS test may also provide the most accurate means of measuring penile curvature. A protractor is useful to determine the degree of penile curvature while calipers or a ruler are used to measure penile plaques and nodules.

Imaging and Vascular Studies

Ultrasound, X-ray, CT, and MRI have been used to identify abnormalities of the tunica albuginea and corpora cavernosa. Generally, B-mode ultrasound is the most useful technique for measuring the extent of fibrosis or calcification of the tunica albuginea, corpora cavernosa, and septum. Although CT scan, X-rays, and MRI have been used for PD, penile ultrasound identifies calcifica-tions more accurately than these techniques. When vascular abnormalities are suspected, a duplex doppler ultrasound after CIS assesses vascular health and provides the best estimate of penile curvature and deformity. While ultrasound is not used in all centers specializing in the care of men with PD, this relatively low-cost and minimally invasive technique quickly and efficiently identifies the underlying penile abnormality and provides key information that guides medical management and the choice of surgical intervention. From clinical experience, men with extensive calcifications are unlikely to benefit greatly from medical therapy and may require excision of these calcifications to correct the penile curvature.

Medical and Nonsurgical Therapy

The current list of medical and nonsurgical treatments for PD is long and reflects the fact that no treatment has been uniformly successful. Few of these treatments with generic viagra online pharmacy have been subjected to rigorous evaluation with randomized trials; however, some therapies have shown consistently positive results. New treatments and nonsurgical interventions are under study that may provide significant benefits for men with PD.