OBJECTIVE--To assess the spectrum of genital dermatological conditions affecting men and compare the clinical and histopathological diagnoses. DESIGN--Prospective study over a one year period. SETTING--A central London teaching hospital. PATIENTS--Seventy one patients with unresponsive penile dermatoses attending a specific internal referral clinic within the department of genitourinary medicine and 36 patients undergoing penile biopsy following attendance at other departments within the same hospital. METHODS--Full dermatological assessment of patients attending the specific clinic. Standard histopathological methods were used in the diagnosis of biopsy specimens. OUTCOME MEASURED--Clinico-pathological diagnosis of cutaneous penile abnormalities. RESULTS--Description of the range and relative frequency of penile dermatological conditions. The most common histopathological diagnosis was of non specific dermatitis. Twenty seven percent (16 of 61) of patients attending the specific clinic and 33% (12 of 36) of men attending other departments had conditions requiring long term follow up. CONCLUSIONS--The ranges of penile dermatoses presenting to the different departments were broadly similar. Penile biopsy was shown to be a safe and clinically informative procedure. In the genitourinary clinic setting, clinical diagnosis prior to biopsy was found frequently to be inaccurate.
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