Objectives. To evaluate the intermediate-term efficacy of cadaveric pericardium (Tutoplast) as a grafting material in the surgical correction of Peyronie's disease using a rat model. Peyronie's disease is a connective tissue disorder of the tunica albuginea. When less invasive modalities fail to correct the penile deformity, surgical excision of the plaque and coverage with various grafting materials has been advocated. Methods. Twenty male Sprague-Dawley rats (300 to 325 g) constituted the study population. The animals were divided into two groups: Group 1, control rats (n = 10) and group 2, rats that underwent wedge excision of the tunica albuginea and replacement with cadaveric pericardial grafts (n = 10). All rats underwent electrical stimulation of the cavernosal nerve to assess erectile function after 4 months. Tissues obtained after death were stained with trichrome and Verhoff's van Giesen for collagen and elastic fibers. Results. Erectile function as studied by cavernosal nerve stimulation was not significantly different in either group (P >0.05), and histologic studies of penile cross sections of the pericardial graft group revealed a mild to moderate degree of fibrosis surrounding the patch at 4 months. Conclusions. We found that pericardial cadaveric grafts in a rat model are a suitable tunica albuginea substitute. They allow for penile expansion after cavernosal nerve stimulation and are strong enough to withstand normal intracorporeal pressures. Our early experimental data in the rat support the use of pericardial cadaveric material for coverage of excised Peyronie's plaques. However, long-term follow-up in humans is mandatory. (C) 2000, Elsevier Science Inc.
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