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Functional electrical stimulation effective for erectile dysfunction

09 Jul 2018

Functional electrical stimulation (FES) may be an effective treatment approach to erectile dysfunction, as it produces improvements in quality of life, according to a recent study.

Erectile dysfunction patients who received the FES intervention showed significant improvements from baseline in the erection hardness score (EHS; 1.73±0.13 to 2.82±0.3 points; p<0.0001; mean difference, 1.1 points; p<0.05).

Similar improvements were observed when the outcome was measured using the International Index of Erectile Function-5 (IIEF-5; 11±1.2 to 16±1.7 points; p<0.0001; mean difference, 5 points; p<0.05).

In contrast, no such improvements over time were seen in the patients who received the placebo intervention (EHS: 1.64±0.19 to 1.82±0.17 points; mean difference, 0.18 points; IIEF-5: 11.4±1.3 to 11.4±1.4 points; mean difference, 0 points).

In terms of quality of life, the FES intervention similarly produced significant improvements in all domains of the WHO Quality of Life instrument, except for the environment domain (physical health: 52.3±3 to 67.7±4.1; social relationships: 41.8±2.4 to 66.8±4; psychological: 47.3±2 to 67.3±2.9; p<0.0001 for all).

In comparison, placebo patients showed improvements only in the psychological (47.3±2.2 to 50.4±2) and social relationships (39.5±3.5 to 43.6±4.5; p<0.0001 for both) domains.

“Further studies should be carried [out] to corroborate our results, aiming to improve the methods of evaluation establishing the physiopathology pathways of the FES in the [nitric oxide] release, and finding selection criteria for patients suitable for this treatment,” said researchers.

For the present randomized controlled trial, 22 erectile dysfunction patients were randomized to receive either FES (50 Hz/500 µs; n=11; mean age 58.6±5.3 years) or placebo (n=11; mean age 58.4±5.8 years). FES was delivered during two weekly sessions each lasting 15 minutes. The trial duration was 4 weeks.

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Most Read Articles
6 days ago
Living a sedentary lifestyle may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) even in people with healthy body mass index (BMI), reports a new study.
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The carbon-chain length of saturated fatty acids appears to be an important factor in determining its role in cardiovascular health, a recent study has found.
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