Low-intensity shock wave safe, effective on moderate erectile dysfunction
Men with moderate erectile dysfunction (ED) may benefit from having 12 sessions of low-intensity shock wave therapy (SWT) twice weekly for 6 weeks, with a treatment protocol of 5,000 impulses, 0.0096 mJ/mm2 energy flux density, and 5-Hz frequency, suggests a study.
Researchers, led by Dimitrios Kalyvianakis from the Institute for the Study of Urological Diseases, Thessaloniki, Greece, carried out a double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled trial to examine the efficacy and safety of low-intensity SWT in patients with moderate ED. Seventy men were randomly assigned to receive 12 sessions of low-intensity SWT (n=35) or sham therapy (n=35) twice weekly. They were evaluated at 1 and 3 months after treatment completion.
Outcomes measured were the proportion of men achieving minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction‒Erectile Function (IIEF-EF) and the effect of low-intensity SWT on erectile function, as well as on safety.
Of the patients, 27 (79 percent) in the SWT group and none in the sham group attained MCID at 3 months. The risk difference between groups was 79 percent (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 66‒93; p<0.001), and the baseline-adjusted mean between-group difference in the IIEF-EF was 4.4 points (95 percent CI, 3.4‒5.4; p<0.001).
MCID at 1 month was achieved by 20 (59 percent) patients in the SWT group and by only one (2.9 percent) in the sham group. The risk difference between groups was 56 percent (95 percent CI, 38‒73; p<0.001), while the baseline-adjusted mean between-group difference in the IIEF-EF was 3.9 points (95 percent CI, 2.7‒5.2; p<0.001).
“Still, further long-term randomized studies are warranted to corroborate our findings,” the researchers said.