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OBJECTIVE: Anencephaly and Prune-belly syndrome (PBS) are rare and severe anomalies. Anencephaly results from failure of the neural tube to close at the base of the skull in the third or fourth week after conception, leaving the skull bones that usually surround the head unformed. PBS is characterized by deficient abdominal muscles, urinary tract malformation, and in males, cryptorchidism. Studies about the penile development in these two syndromes are very unusual. The aim of this paper was to compare the growth of penises from anencephalic, PBS and controls during the human fetal period.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We studied 33 penises from normal human fetuses, aged 11-22 weeks post conception (WPC); 13 penises from anencephalic fetuses, aged 13-19 WPC and 4 penises from PBS fetuses, aged 13-16WPC. The fetuses were evaluated regarding crown-rump length (CRL) and body weight immediately before dissection. After the measurements the fetuses were carefully dissected with the aid of a stereoscopic lens with 16/25X magnification. The penis was dissected and the total penis length was measured with the aid of a computer program (Image Pro and Image J) Means were statistically compared using the unpaired t-test and linear regression was performed. Statistical significance was considered if p<0.05.
RESULTS: The fetuses presented weight between 16 and 525 g and had crown-rump length between 6.5 and 20.5 cm. The penile length was significantly smaller (p<0.001) in anencephalic fetuses (7.49 to 18.46mm; mean=11.36mm, SD=3.18) when compared to control group (4.69 to 29.77mm; mean=16.2mm, SD=6.34) and PBS fetuses (12.23 to 23mm; mean=16.16mm, SD=4.99). The linear regression analysis indicated that the penile length in control group (r2=0.6887) and in anencephalic fetuses (r2=0.5126) increases significantly and positively with fetal age. In PBS fetuses the linear regression analysis indicated that the penile length, do not increases significantly with fetal age (r2=0.5008).

CONCLUSIONS: We observed significative changes in penile growth in PBS and specially in anencephaly fetuses during human fetal period. Studies with larger samples will be important to confirm these findings

Palavras Chave ( separado por ; )

Sindrome de Prune Belly, Penis, Anencefalia, disfunção erétil


Disfunção Sexual


UERJ - Rio de Janeiro - Brasil


Rodrigo silva Pires, henrique barbosa menezes, carla mano gallo, francisco jose sampaio, Luciano alves Favorito