OBJECTIVE: To evaluate in an animal model the intermediate and long-term efficacy of cadaveric pericardium, dermis, vein and Gore-Tex™ as grafting materials for tunica albuginea substitution after plaque excision for Peyronie's disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study comprised 100 male Sprague-Dawley rats (300-325 g) divided into five equal groups: group 1, sham-operated controls; and groups 2-5 which underwent wedge excision of the tunica albuginea and replacement with either cadaveric pericardium, dermis, vein or Gore-Tex grafts. Ten rats in each group had the cavernosal nerve stimulated electrically to assess erectile function at 4 months, and the remaining 10 rats at 6 months. After death the sampled tissues were fixed in 10% formalin, paraffin-embedded, and stained with Masson's trichrome and Verhoff's van Giesen for collagen and elastic fibres. RESULTS: Erectile function, assessed by cavernosal nerve stimulation, did not differ significantly in any of the groups (P>0.05). The histological assessment of penile cross-sections showed minimal fibrosis surrounding the patch in the dermal and vein grafts, and moderate to severe fibrosis in the Gore-Tex graft at 4 and 6 months. In the pericardial graft there was a moderate degree of fibrosis at 4 months with only minimal fibrosis at 6 months. CONCLUSIONS: These results show that cadaveric pericardium allows complete penile expansion and is strong enough to withstand normal intracorporal pressures. There was minimal fibrosis in the pericardial, dermal and vein grafts, and moderate fibrosis in the Gore-Tex graft at 6 months. The pericardial graft is a satisfactory grafting material when used for tunica albuginea substitution, including the surgical management of Peyronie's disease.
- Peyronie's disease
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