ANDROLOGY, vol.9, no.5, pp.1571-1578, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
Background Low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) for the treatment of vasculogenic erectile dysfunction (ED) has emerged as a promising method directly targeting the underlying pathophysiology of the disease. Objectives To compare outcomes in ED patients after ESWT and placebo treatment. Materials and methods Prospective randomized placebo-controlled single-blinded trial on 66 patients with mild ED. The study comprised a 4-week washout phase, a 4-week treatment phase, and a 48-week follow-up. Inclusion criteria included age between 18 and 75 years and diagnosis of mild ED (IIEF-EF score = 17-25) being made at least six months prior to study inclusion and being confirmed by Penile Doppler ultrasonography (US) at baseline examination. Efficacy endpoints were changes from baseline in patient-reported outcomes of erectile function (International Index of Erectile Function domain scores [IIEF-EF]), as well as erection hardness and duration (Sexual Encounter Profile diary [SEP] and Global Assessment Questions [GAQ]). Safety was assessed throughout the study. Results A total of 66 enrolled patients were allocated to ESWT (n = 44) or placebo (n = 22). Mean age of ESWT and placebo group was 42.32 +/- 9.88 and 39.86 +/- 11.64 (p = 0.374), respectively. Mean baseline IIEF-EF scores of ESWT group and placebo were 20.32 +/- 2.32 and 19.68 +/- 1.55 respectively (p = 0.34). At 3-months follow-up, mean IIEF-EF scores were significantly higher in ESWT patients than in placebo patients (23.10 +/- 2.82 vs. 20.95 +/- 2.19, p = 0.003), and IIEF-EF scores of ESWT patients remained high during the 6 months (22.67 +/- 3.35 vs. 19.82 +/- 1.56) follow-up. The percentage of patients reporting both successful penetration (SEP2) and intercourse (SEP3) in more than 50% of attempts was significantly higher in ESWT-treated patients than in placebo patients (p = 0.001). A minimal clinically important difference between the IIEF = EF baseline and 3-months follow-up was found in 74% of ESWT and 36% of placebo. No serious adverse events were reported. Discussion and Conclusion ESWT significantly improved the erectile function of relatively young patients with vasculogenic mild ED when compared to placebo and the beneficial effect of this treatment up to 6 months. These findings suggest that ESWT could be a useful treatment option in vasculogenic ED.