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CT Scans Aid in Peyronie’s Disease Assessment


CT Scans Aid in Peyronie’s Disease AssessmentResearchers noted that CT scans could provide helpful information about the particular anatomy of a patient’s penis, which might not be so easy to see in a typical medical exam.

When a man has Peyronie’s disease, areas of hardened tissue called plaques form on his penis, just below the skin’s surface. Plaques make the penis less flexible, causing it to bend in distinct way. For some men, the penis takes on a hinge or hourglass shape. Many men experience pain, and some are unable to have satisfactory intercourse.

Doctors diagnose Peyronie’s disease by taking a medical history, conducting a physical exam and, in some cases, performing an ultrasound. They will often induce an erection to measure the degree of curvature.

These techniques are effective, but they don’t always show the whole picture.

Scientists decided to investigate whether computer tomography (CT) scans could help.

Sixty-three men with an average age of 57 years participated in the study. Overall, they had had Peyronie’s disease for an average of 5.2 years.

During a CT (computed tomography) scan, a number of x-rays are taken at different angles, giving doctors more detailed images. For this study, each participant lay face-up in the scanner and had an injection to induce an erection. Next, they received anesthesia and a catheter was put in place. Through the catheter, a contrast mixture was introduced. Then, the scan started.

Using the images, the researchers created 3D reconstructions for each man, getting a better view of how each penis curved. They found that 80% of the men had “multiple points of angulation.” They also determined that 83% had a venous leak, meaning the veins failed to hold blood in the penis to keep it erect.

“At the time of presentation and initial evaluation, the extent and severity of [Peyronie’s disease] by history and physical examination might be underestimated,” the authors wrote. But CT scans may help pinpoint abnormalities in the penis, which can help doctors diagnose, monitor, and treat the condition.


 The Journal of Sexual Medicine

McCullough, Andrew, MD, et al.

“The Use of Penile Computed Tomography Cavernosogram in the Evaluation of Peyronie's Disease: A Pilot Study”

(Full-text. Published online: March 4, 2020)

Mayo Clinic

“CT Scan”

(February 28, 2020)

“Peyronie’s disease – Diagnosis & treatment”

(April 4, 2020)

Urology Care Foundation

“What is Peyronie’s Disease?”