MRI of penile fracture: diagnosis and therapeutic follow-up
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A rupture of corpus cavernosum (CC) is a rare injury of the erect penis. The present study describes the role of MRI for diagnosis and follow-up of this injury. Four patients with clinically suspected acute penile fractures underwent MRI. Imaging findings were confirmed at surgery. In three patients, follow-up MRI was also available at 1, 6 and 16 weeks after surgical repair. In all patients pre-contrast T1-weighted images (T1WI) clearly disclosed ruptures of CC, which depicted as discontinuity of low signal intensity of the tunica albuginea (TA). Concomitant subcutaneous haematoma were well visualised both on T1-weighted (T1WI) and T2-weighted images, whereas haematoma in CC were optimally demonstrated on contrast-enhanced T1WI. On follow-up MRI all fractures presented similar healing process. Shortly after the repair, the tunical suture showed an increase in signal intensity on pre-contrast T1WI and was strongly enhanced with the administration of contrast material. Then the tear site gradually recovered low signal intensity on all spin-echo sequences by 4 months after surgery. These serial findings may suggest the formation of vascularised granulation tissue during cicatrisation. Magnetic resonance imaging is of great value for the diagnosis and follow-up in patients with penile fracture.
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