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Erectile Function and Low-intensity Shock Wave Treatment: a systematic review to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy (2016-07-05)

In recent years, low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave treatment as a therapeutic method for erectile dysfunction has attracted extensive attention. Researchers felt that a summary of the current literature and a systematic review to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave treatment (LI-ESWT) for erectile dysfunction (ED) would be helpful for physicians who are interested in using this modality to treat patients with ED.

There were 14 studies including 833 patients from 2005 to 2015. Seven studies were randomized controlled trials (RCTs); however, in these studies, the setup parameters of low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave treatment (LI-ESWT) and the protocols of treatment were variable.
The meta-analysis revealed that LI-ESWT could significantly improve the International Index of Erectile Function and the Erection Hardness Score.

Therapeutic efficacy could last at least 3 mo. The patients with mild-moderate ED had better therapeutic efficacy after treatment than patients with more severe ED or comorbidities. Energy flux density, number of shock waves per treatment, and duration of LI-ESWT treatment were closely related to clinical outcome, especially regarding IIEF improvement.

Most of the men in these studies had erectile dysfunction due to impaired blood flow to the penis, and not because of other health problems like neurological or psychological issues that can also impact sexual performance. These results suggest that the therapy may not be a panacea for every man experiencing sexual difficulties.
It may only be a good choice for men with erectile dysfunction caused by vascular problems.

While the long-term risks and benefits of shock treatment are still unknown, and more studies are needed to determine the best dosage, the therapy may offer an alternative to men who canít take Viagra or didnít get the results they wanted from a pill, said senior study author Dr. Tom Lue of the University of California, San Francisco.
Shock wave therapy isnít approved to treat erectile dysfunction in the U.S.

For more information
Low-intensity Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment Improves Erectile Function: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
PII: S0302-2838(16)30259-7
DOI: 10.1016/j.eururo.2016.05.050

University of California San Francisco