Peyronie's disease: lights and shadows.
Peyronie's disease (PD) is characterized by the onset of fibrous plaque inside the tunica albuginea of the penile corpora cavernosa that can cause pain and bending during the erection, making intercourse difficult or impossible. Evidence of the literature supports the autoimmune etiology of PD and suggests genetic and familiar conditions, penile traumatisms, and a history of genital tract diseases as risk factors, but no definitive conclusions arise about the pathogenesis of the disease. Few randomized trials demonstrated that medical therapies, such as vitamin E, colchicine, potassium aminobenzoate, tamoxifen, and injection therapy with verapamil, can stabilize the acute phase of the disease. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy and iontophoresis cannot be considered first-line or gold standard therapies. Satisfactory results have been published with the Nesbit operation in large series with low-stage disease, whereas plication procedures have shown significant relapse rates. A high incidence of long-term penile retractions has been reported in high-stage disease treated with plaque incision and simple graft insertion. Malleable, soft, or inflatable prostheses combined with graft implantation have given the best results in terms of penile straightening and lengthening and patient satisfaction. In conclusion, the etiopathogenesis of PD is not yet clearly understood, no medical therapy is fully effective, and surgery remains the gold standard in patients with severe deformity and/or erectile dysfunction.