Int J Impot Res. 2023 Sep 2. doi: 10.1038/s41443-023-00758-6. Online ahead of print.
The prevalence of penile calcification in the population remains uncertain. This retrospective multicenter study aimed to determine the prevalence and characteristics of penile calcification in a large cohort of male patients undergoing non-contrast pelvic tomography. A total of 14 545 scans obtained from 19 participating centers between 2016 and 2022 were retrospectively analyzed within a 3-months period. Eligible scans (n = 12 709) were included in the analysis. Patient age, penile imaging status, presence of calcified plaque, and plaque measurements were recorded. Statistical analysis was performed to assess the relationships between calcified plaque, patient age, plaque characteristics, and plaque location. Among the analyzed scans, 767 (6.04%) patients were found to have at least one calcified plaque. Patients with calcified plaque had a significantly higher median age (64 years (IQR 56-72)) compared to those with normal penile evaluation (49 years (IQR 36-60) (p < 0.001). Of the patients with calcified plaque, 46.4% had only one plaque, while 53.6% had multiple plaques. There was a positive correlation between age and the number of plaques (r = 0.31, p < 0.001). The average dimensions of the calcified plaques were as follows: width: 3.9 ± 5 mm, length: 5.3 ± 5.2 mm, height: 3.5 ± 3.2 mm, with an average plaque area of 29 ± 165 mm² and mean plaque volume of 269 ± 3187 mm³. Plaques were predominantly located in the proximal and mid-penile regions (44.1% and 40.5%, respectively), with 77.7% located on the dorsal side of the penis. The hardness level of plaques, assessed by Hounsfield units, median of 362 (IQR 250-487) (range: 100-1400). Patients with multiple plaques had significantly higher Hounsfield unit values compared to those with a single plaque (p = 0.003). Our study revealed that patients with calcified plaques are older and have multiple plaques predominantly located on the dorsal and proximal side of the penis.