Lapeyronie disease


1561 – There are myriad potential 16th century descriptions of Peyronie’s disease brilliantly reviewed by Musitelli, et al. They conclude that Gabriele Falloppio (1523 – 1562) provided the only potential description of Peyronie’s as palpable scar tissue which he termed ‘little acorns’

Nerui sunt insignes ac ualde manifesti, ita ut nisi lusciosos latere possint, iique sunt, in quibus, ac simul in ipsorum inuolucris fiunt ganglia non dolorosa, uel glandulae uocatae, quae postea sunt in causa, ut dum pudendum erigitur ueluti arietinum cornu intortum turgeat, et non distendatur, quod genus morbi mea sententia immedicabile est

Falloppio 1561: 190

These nerves and their sheath are just those parts into which painless ganglions form, that are also called “little acorns.” These ganglions are the cause why, when erection of the penis occurs, it doesn’t swell straight, but like a ram-horn. In my opinion it is impossible to cure this kind of disease by medicines

Falloppio 1561: 190

1743La Peyronie described three cases of ‘hard tumors in cavernous bodies ‘ accompanied by painful erection and curvature of the penis on the lesion side. He described these tumors as nodules or ganglions, sometimes extended like the beads of a rosary, from one end to the other of the two bodies.

…tumeurs dures dans les corps caverneux…en forme de nodules ou de ganglions, allongés parfois comme les grains d’un chapelet, d’un bout à l’autre des deux corps

La Peyronie 1743

Although his description is accurate, the proposed aetiology was less so. He suspected venereal disease as a cause and the treatment recommended was that for syphilis, with mercurial preparations and potassium iodide.

This illness…which is not rare among elderly men, particularly among those sexually very active, is sometimes also the result of a venereal disease…the resistance of these indurations to the specific treatment makes me think that, with regard to their healing, they could be considered as remains of venereal diseases

If mercurial options failed, the thermal waters of Barèges in the Pyrenees was suggested…and was apparently more successful…

While the patient healed from his old injury, thanks to the waters, he took the shower over the induration, and observed that during a season of water treatment the induration decreased considerably. The first sign of success induced the patient to continue the same treatment. Repeated showers for one more season, completed the softening of this induration, the erections regained their old shape, and the semen its normal ejaculation.

1851 – Henry James Johnson wrote on chronic inflammation, and other morbid states of the corpus cavernosum in the the Lancet. Three of the four cases presented most probably represent Peyronie disease

1874 – Van Buren and Keyes published 5 cases and described the previously unreported calcification of the penis and chronic inflammation of the erectile tissue of the corpora cavernosa. Disease called Van Buren’s disease. [1874: 390-394.]

1877 – Jean-Nicolas Demarquay noted the work of Peyronie when describing ‘l’induration plastique des tissus érectiles du pénis’ and ‘l’ossification du pénis’ [1877: 391-392]

1879 – Paget Chordae secondary to gout, likens Peyronie to Dupuytren as contractures[1879: 379-380]

Associated Persons

Alternative names
  • Induratio penis plastica (IPP)
  • Lapeyronie disease
  • Van Buren’s disease (1874)


Many surgeons and anatomists had observed and described penile curvature prior to François Gigot de La Peyronie. The descriptions have been thoroughly examined by Musitelli, et al and found, in the main, to be vague and most probably not of Peyronie’s disease, with the exception of Guilielmus of Saliceto (1275) and Gabriele Falloppio (1561)


Original articles

Review articles



the person behind the name

Dr Mitchell Barns LITFL Author

Bsc (Hons) MD from the University of Western Australia. Born and raised in Perth, Western Australia and currently working as a Urology Registrar within WA Health. Has a keen interest in health, fitness and water based sports.

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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