Author(s): Hellstrom WJ
Peyronie's disease remains an enigma. With the recent introduction of an animal model for Peyronie's disease, the entry of a number of double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trials, and the application of new molecular diagnostic methods, the investigation of this wound-healing disorder of the penile tunica albuginea should illuminate many of the unknowns. Investigators need to be open to innovations in other fields of medicine involving idiopathic fibrosing conditions in other organ systems, eg, Dupuytren's contracture, keloids, hypertrophic scarring, etc. Applications from these other disciplines will undoubtedly widen our scope about Peyronie's disease. While a minority of patients respond with observation alone, most authorities recommend at least a trial of medical therapy with a safe, inexpensive, and well-tolerated agent, as early-stage disease is reputedly more likely to respond better than patients with established, longstanding Peyronie's plaques. The reintroduction of intralesional therapies (verapamil and interferon alpha-2b) provides the clinician with an alternative minimally invasive intervention that has promising possibilities. In severe fibrotic or calcified plaques or with major structural abnormalities, the judicious use of surgery with or without grafting materials and a penile prosthesis can restore many men back to their previous level of high esteem and provide both partners an excellent quality of life.