Men Home > Cause of Peyronie's Disease

An exact cause of Peyronie's disease has yet to be found. But researchers believe that trauma to the penis can lead to Peyronie's disease in some men. Other researchers theorize that some form of autoimmune disorder may be a potential cause of Peyronie's disease.

Cause of Peyronie's Disease: An Overview

At this point in time, the exact cause of Peyronie's disease is unknown. However, researchers have a few theories about what could possibly cause Peyronie's disease, including:
  • Trauma
  • Autoimmune disorders.

Trauma as a Cause of Peyronie's Disease

Many researchers believe the plaque associated with Peyronie's disease develops following trauma (hitting or bending) that causes localized bleeding inside the penis.
Two chambers known as the corpora cavernosa run the length of the penis. The inner-surface membrane of the chambers is a sheath of elastic fibers. A connecting tissue, called a septum, runs between the two chambers and attaches at the top and bottom.
If the penis is abnormally bumped or bent, an area where the septum attaches to the elastic fibers may stretch beyond its limit, injuring the lining of the erectile chamber and, for example, rupturing small blood vessels. As a result of aging, diminished elasticity near the point of attachment of the septum might increase the chances of injury.
The damaged area might heal slowly or abnormally for two reasons:
  • Repeated trauma
  • A minimal amount of blood flow in the sheath-like fibers.
In cases that heal within about a year, the plaque does not advance beyond an initial inflammatory phase. In cases that persist for years, the plaque can undergo fibrosis (formation of tough fibrous tissue) and even calcification (formation of calcium deposits).
While trauma might explain acute cases of Peyronie's disease, it does not explain why most cases develop slowly and with no apparent traumatic event. It also does not explain why some cases disappear quickly or why similar conditions, such as Dupuytren's contracture, do not seem to result from severe trauma.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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