In a nutshell
This study examined low-intensity shockwave treatment (LIST) outcomes.
Researchers concluded that LIST is a safe and effective treatment option for erectile dysfunction.
Drug therapy with phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE5i), such as Viagra, is a well-recognized treatment for erectile dysfunction and believed to be very effective in achieving erection for sexual intercourse. However, not all men respond to PDE5i, often requiring alternative treatment options.
Low-intensity shock wave therapy (LIST) has recently been introduced as a new therapeutic approach for erectile dysfunction. LIST allows for an increase in penile blood flow by using low-intensity (non-harmful) shock waves that are believed to stimulate the formation of new blood vessels. LIST is therefor less invasive than other alternative treatments. The efficiency of LIST across different ages and in the case of additional medical conditions has not yet been fully studied.
Methods & findings
56 men with erectile dysfunction were included in this study. Men received treatment with LIST twice weekly over the course of nine weeks (with no treatment at weeks 2, 5, and 8). Erectile function was evaluated at the beginning of the study and up to six months after treatment.
LIST was well-tolerated and was not associated with any pain or side-effects. When compared to the beginning of the study, treatment with LIST significantly improved erectile function.
Overall, 57% of men achieved an erection hard enough for vaginal penetration within six months of treatment. Men with no additional medical conditions were most likely to achieve an erection hard enough for penetration (70% of men). In comparison, only 30 to 40% of men with other diagnoses (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and high cholesterol) achieved a similar improvement in erectile function. LIST was also noted to be significantly less effective in men more than 65 years of age.
The bottom line
Researchers concluded that LIST is a safe and effective treatment option for erectile dysfunction, and may provide a suitable alternative to PDE5 inhibitors. However, older age and additional medical conditions can reduce LIST effectivity.
The fine print
Because this is a new therapeutic approach, larger clinical trials are needed to confirm the preliminary results of this study.
Published By :
International journal of urology : official journal of the Japanese Urological Association
Jan 01, 2016
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