Home | About Us | Current Issue | Ahead of print | Archives | Search | Instructions | Subscription | Feedback | Editorial Board | e-Alerts | Login 
Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
     Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
Official journal of the Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons         
 Users Online:3813 
  Print this page Email this page   Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size

Year : 2005  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 256-257

Penile agenesis

St Stephens Hospital, Tis Hazari, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
A K Bangroo
103, Administrative block, St. Stephens Hospital, Tis Hazari, Delhi-110 054
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-9261.19278

Rights and Permissions



Penile agenesis is an extremely rare disorder with profound urological and psychological consequences. The goal of treatment is an early female gender assignment and feminizing reconstruction of the perineum.

Keywords: Aphallia, Penile agenesis, Ambiguous genitalia

How to cite this article:
Bangroo A K, Khetri R, Tiwari S. Penile agenesis. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2005;10:256-7

How to cite this URL:
Bangroo A K, Khetri R, Tiwari S. Penile agenesis. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg [serial online] 2005 [cited 2023 Sep 30];10:256-7. Available from: https://www.jiaps.com/text.asp?2005/10/4/256/19278

Penile agenesis (PA) is an extremely rare developmental anomaly with the reported incidence of 1 in 30 million births[1]. PA is believed to result from either the absence of the genital tubercle, or its failure to develop.[2] Several investigators claim the absence of corpora cavernosa and corpora spongiosum as a prerequisite for the diagnosis of penile agenesis.[3] Except for the reported XX-XY mosaic, patients have 46 XY karyotypes.[4] More than half of these have associated anomalies, including developmental defects of the caudal axis, genitourinary and gastrointestinal tract anomalies.[5] The scrotum, testes and testicular function are usually normal[2].

   Case report Top

A two-day-old 3.2 kg genotypic male (46XY) neonate was brought, by a social organization, to our hospital with the complaint of absence of penis, and passage of meconium mixed with urine through rectum. On examination patient had an absent penis, with a normal looking scrotum and bilaterally descended testes [Figure - 1]. Anus was normally placed and the urethral opening was not visible anywhere in the perineum. Patient did not have dysmorphic features or clinical evidence of any other associated anomaly. Urethra was later diagnosed, by cystography, to open up high in the anorectum anteriorly by a fistulous communication [Figure - 2]. Ultrasound examination revealed normal looking kidneys and urinary bladder. Divided sigmoid colostomy was performed for fecal diversion, and patent urachus noticed during exploration was excised. Three weeks later, bilateral orchiectomy was done, urethrorectal fistula disconnected and urethra mobilized and transposed anteriorly and placed between the scrotal folds which were preserved for subsequent genital reconstruction.

   Discussion Top

The earliest case report of aphallia was by Imminger in 1853[2] since then only 75 cases have been reported in the literature[6]. Skoog and Belman[5] suggested three variants, based on urethral position in relationship to the anal sphincter, as: Postsphincteric; Presphincteric (Prostatorectal fistula) and Urethral atresia. More proximal the bladder outlet, greater is the likelihood of other anomalies and death.[5]

The diagnosis of PA requires the absence of corpora cavernosa and copora spongiosum with urethra opening at any point on the perineum in midline, over pubis, anterior aspect of the scrotum, or, most frequently just anterior to the anus and anterior wall of the rectum.[7],[8] This rare entity should be differentiated from concealed penis, rudimentary penis, micropenis, epispadias, hypospadias pseudo hermaphroditism and intrauterine amputation of penis.[2],[8],[9] Anorectal anomalies such as imperforate anus, congenital rectal strictures and rectovesical fistula, cryptorchid testis, hydrocele, hernia, renal dysplasia, horseshoe kidneys and agenesis of prostate could be associated malformations.[4]

In view of completely normal testicular hormone function in PA, Oesch et al[9] emphasized the need for an early bilateral orchiectomy to prevent psychological imprinting of the child as a male because of the postnatal testosterone surge that occurs between the 10th and 60th day of life.[2] Stolar et al[10] were the first to use posterior saggital approach and recommended orchiectomy and diverting colostomy with or without vesicostomy before three months of age, followed by repair of the urethro - rectal fistula and vaginoplasty at one year of age.

There is a consensus that infants with PA should undergo early gender assignment and be raised as girls, despite male karyotype.[3],[11] However, its relevance to the Indian society is still debated. In Indian villages and towns it would be easier to live as a sexually incompetent male in the society rather than a single unmarried girl.[12] Delay of diagnostic and therapeutic measures resulting in male gender assignment has led to severe psychological and anatomic problems because of difficulties in constructing a functioning phallus.[3] In contrast, it is easier to establish a normal female appearance. However, no reports concerning long term physiological and psychological results exist in immediately gender reassigned patients. Perhaps they are as dissatisfied as girls as they would have been as boys.[13]

   References Top

1.Kessler WO, McLaughlin AP 3rd. Agenesis of penis. Embryology and management. Urology 1973;1:226-9.  Back to cited text no. 1  [PUBMED]  
2.Gautier T, Salient J, Pena S, Imperto-McGinley J, Peterson RE. Testicular function in 2 cases of penile agenesis. J Urol 1981;126:556-7.  Back to cited text no. 2  [PUBMED]  
3.Ciftci AO, Senocak ME, Buyukpamukcu N. Male gender assignment in penile agenesis:A case report and review of the literature. J Pediatr Surg 1995;30:1358-60.  Back to cited text no. 3  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
4.Soderdahl DW, Brosman SA, Goodwin WE. Penile Agenesis. J urol 1972;108:496-9.  Back to cited text no. 4  [PUBMED]  
5.Skoog SJ, Belman AB. Aphallia: Its classification and management. J Urol 1989;141:589-92.  Back to cited text no. 5  [PUBMED]  
6.Hendren WH. The genetic male with absent penis and urethrorectal communication. Experience with 5 patients: J Urol 1997;157:1469-74.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Richart R, Benirschke K. Penile Agenesis. Report of case, review of the world literature and discussion of pertinent embryology. Arch Pathol 1960;7:134-42.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Attie J. Congenital absence of penis: A report of a case with congenital concealed penile agenesis and congenital absence of the left kidney and ureter. J Urol 1961;86:343-5.  Back to cited text no. 8  [PUBMED]  
9.Oesch IL, Pinter A, Ransley PG:Penile Agenesis:A report of six cases. J Pediatr Surg 1987;22:172-4.  Back to cited text no. 9    
10.Stolar CJ, Wiener ES, Hensle TW, Silen ML, Sukarochana K, Sieber WK, et al . Reconstruction of penile agenesis by a posterior saggital approach. J Pediatr Surg 1987;22:1076-80.  Back to cited text no. 10    
11.Sarin YK, Sinha A. Aphallia. Indian Pediatrics 2003;40:367-8.  Back to cited text no. 11  [PUBMED]  
12.Tiwari S. Should infants with aphallia be raised as females? Indian Pediatrics 2003;40:802-3.  Back to cited text no. 12  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
13.Diamond M, Sigmundson HK. Sex reassignment at birth. Long term review and clinical implication. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 1997;151:298-304.  Back to cited text no. 13  [PUBMED]  


[Figure - 1], [Figure - 2]

This article has been cited by
1 Urethral Reconstruction in Patients Suffering from Aphallia: A Reconstructive Challenge
Mahendra Bhandari, Rahul Janak Sinha, Vishwajeet Singh
Urologia Internationalis. 2011; 87(4): 475
[VIEW] | [DOI]
2 Penile agenesis: Report on 8 cases and review of literature
Mirshemirani, A., Khaleghnejad, A., Pourang, H., Sadeghian, N., Rouzrokh, M., Salehpour, S.
Iranian Journal of Pediatrics. 2009; 19(2): 173-179


Print this article  Email this article
Previous article Next article


   Next article
   Previous article 
   Table of Contents
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Article in PDF (90 KB)
    Citation Manager
    Access Statistics
    Reader Comments
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

    Case report
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded243    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 2    

Recommend this journal

Contact us | Sitemap | Advertise | What's New | Copyright and Disclaimer | Privacy Notice

  2005 - Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow 

Online since 1st May '05