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August 2001

Chronic Penile Lymphedema: A Report of 6 Cases

Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(8):1108-1110. doi:

We report our experience with the management of 6 cases of chronic penile lymphedema (CPL). This is a distressing condition that probably occurs as the result of chronic or persistent lymphatic irritation and scarring for which there is no satisfactory treatment.

Chronic penile lymphedema is a relatively rare entity, and there is very little literature on the subject and its management. It differs from penile venereal edema and acute idiopathic penile edema in several ways: it is persistent, has no demonstrable infective cause, and there is no documented effective treatment. Although it may occur as a consequence of primary hypoplastic lymphatic channels, in our opinion it usually occurs as a result of recurrent unidentified infections and/or another concomitant penile dermatosis and infection thereof, with subsequent damage to the lymphatic vessels. We report our experience with 6 patients with CPL observed in our penile dermatosis clinic.

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