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SEXUAL MEDICINE HISTORY: A Brief Historical Survey of “Peyronie's Disease”


Sergio Musitelli, MD, School of Urology, University of Pavia, Italy, 20080 Zibido San Giacomo, Milan, Italy, S.S. dei Giovi n. 69. Tel/Fax: +39-029053748; E-mail:


Introduction.  Historians of medicine and urology, sexology, and andrology in particular maintain that many other physicians, surgeons, anatomists, and pathologists have already described “Peyronie's disease” some centuries before the author after whom it has been called, François Gigot de La Peyronie (1678–1747).

Aim.  To perform a brief historical survey of Peyronie's disease.

Methods.  A literature review was performed.

Results.  The main surgeons and anatomists who previously observed and described penile curvature prior to François Gigot de La Peyronie are Theodoricus Borgognoni (1205–1298), Guilielmus of Saliceto (circa 1210–1276), Gabriele Falloppio (or Falloppia) (1523–1562), Andreas Vesalius (1514–1564), Giulio Cesare Aranzi (or Aranzio) (1530–1589), Claas Pieterzoon Tulp (Nicholaus Tulpius) (1593–1674), and Anton Frederik Ruysch (1638–1731), who was said to have left the first “postmortem” illustration of the disease in a copperplate engraving in 1691.

Conclusion.  The original texts could easily prove that none of the alleged “precursors” of La Peyronie did ever describe, treat, and cure real cases of Peyronie's disease, and that to award them this merit was somewhat far-fetched, with only Guilielmus of Saliceto and Falloppio possibly excepted. Musitelli S, Bossi M, and Jallous H. A Brief Historical Survey of “Peyronie's Disease”. J Sex Med 2008;5:1737–1746.