Study of Penis Structure and Development in Fetus With Prune Belly Syndrome

Urology. 2022 Aug:166:283-288. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2022.04.017. Epub 2022 May 4.


Objective: To evaluate the influence of prune belly syndrome (PBS) on the development of penises in human fetuses.

Methods: We studied 39 human fetuses (including 4 with PBS) aged 11-22 weeks post conception. We measured the length and width of the free portion and penis root and the penis total length (PTL). In 21 fetuses of the control group and in 3 with PBS we analyze the penile with histochemical and immunohistochemical methods. The total penile area, area of corpora cavernosa, area of corpus spongiosum, and thickness of tunica albuginea were measured by stereological method. Means were compared using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov and ANOVA test (P <.05).

Results: We did not observe difference in PTL (P = .999) when we compared the control group (4.69-29.77 mm, mean = 16.2 mm; SD = 6.34 mm) with the PBS (12.23-23 mm, mean = 16.16; SD = 4.99). The total penile area (P = .002), the area of corpora cavernosa (P = .023) and the area of corpus spongiosum (P = .004) had a significant increase when comparing the PBS with the control group.

Conclusion: In fetuses with PBS there is no change in the length of the penis but we observed a low rate of growth in all the other histologic parameters analyzed, suggesting that PBS impacts the penile development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fetus
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Penis
  • Prune Belly Syndrome*