Peyronie's disease, or penile curvature, is a benign condition caused by the growth of scar tissue under the skin of the penis shaft. This scar tissue prevents the normal expansion of the elastic tissue inside the penis resulting in curvature. The tension on the scar tissue during expansion can result in pain and also an irregular filling of the penis with blood during an erection. It is most frequently seen in men aged 40 to 70.
There is no known cause of the disease, but it could develop as the result of a traumatic injury or other minor vascular trauma. In the past, it has been associated with vitamin E deficiency, use of beta-blocker drugs such as metoprolol and elevated serotonin levels. More recently, it has been theorized to result from minor vascular trauma or injury to the penis. The injury causes release of molecules that produce collagen, a protein that forms scar tissue also known as the Peyronie plaque.
Several symptoms are common in Peyronie's disease. Symptoms include penile pain, which is more pronounced during erection; penile angulation, which may be present only during erection; a palpable plaque at the site of angulation; and decreased erectile function. Other symptoms include:
- Pelvic pain
- Penis curvature
- Impaired libido
- Erectile dysfunction