Low-Intensity Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy—A Novel Effective Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction in Severe ED Patients Who Respond Poorly to PDE5 Inhibitor Therapy
Article first published online: 18 OCT 2011
© 2011 International Society for Sexual Medicine
The Journal of Sexual Medicine
Volume 9, Issue 1, pages 259–264, January 2012
How to Cite
Gruenwald, I., Appel, B. and Vardi, Y. (2012), Low-Intensity Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy—A Novel Effective Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction in Severe ED Patients Who Respond Poorly to PDE5 Inhibitor Therapy. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 9: 259–264. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02498.x
- Issue published online: 4 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 18 OCT 2011
- Low Intensity Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy;
- Erectile Dysfunction;
Introduction. Low-intensity shock wave therapy (LI-ESWT) has been reported as an effective treatment in men with mild and moderate erectile dysfunction (ED).
Aim. The aim of this study is to determine the efficacy of LI-ESWT in severe ED patients who were poor responders to phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor (PDE5i) therapy.
Methods. This was an open-label single-arm prospective study on ED patients with an erection hardness score (EHS) ≤ 2 at baseline. The protocol comprised two treatment sessions per week for 3 weeks, which were repeated after a 3-week no-treatment interval. Patients were followed at 1 month (FU1), and only then an active PDE5i medication was provided for an additional month until final follow-up visit (FU2).
At each treatment session, LI-ESWT was applied on the penile shaft and crus at five different anatomical sites (300 shocks, 0.09 mJ/mm2 intensity at120 shocks/min).
Each subject underwent a full baseline assessment of erectile function using validated questionnaires and objective penile hemodynamic testing before and after LI-ESWT.
Main Outcome Measures. Outcome measures used are changes in the International Index of Erectile Function-erectile function domain (IIEF-ED) scores, the EHS measurement, and the three parameters of penile hemodynamics and endothelial function.
Results. Twenty-nine men (mean age of 61.3) completed the study. Their mean IIEF-ED scores increased from 8.8 ± 1 (baseline) to 12.3 ± 1 at FU1 (P = 0.035). At FU2 (on active PDE5i treatment), their IIEF-ED further increased to 18.8 ± 1 (P < 0.0001), and 72.4% (P < 0.0001) reached an EHS of ≥3 (allowing full sexual intercourse). A significant improvement (P = 0.0001) in penile hemodynamics was detected after treatment and this improvement significantly correlated with increases in the IIEF-ED (P < 0.05). No noteworthy adverse events were reported.
Conclusions. Penile LI-ESWT is a new modality that has the potential to treat a subgroup of severe ED patients. These preliminary data need to be reconfirmed by multicenter sham control studies in a larger group of ED patients. Gruenwald I, Appel B, and Vardi Y. Low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy—A novel effective treatment for erectile dysfunction in severe ED patients who respond poorly to PDE5 inhibitor therapy. J Sex Med 2012;9:259–264.