New Research on Shockwave Therapy for ED
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A team of Danish and British researchers has investigated the effectiveness of low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy (LI-ESWT) for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED).
The therapy uses electromagnetic energy to trigger neovascularization. Past research suggests that LI-ESWT could be a viable treatment for ED.
One hundred twelve men with ED participated in the study. Their median age was 60 and on average, they had had ED of organic origin for a range of 57-64 months.
Erectile function was assessed using the Erection Hardness Score (EHS) and the erectile function domain of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF).
The men were randomly assigned to receive five weeks of LI-ESWT or a placebo treatment. After this period, 57% of the men in the treatment group had an EHS score of 3-4, meaning they could achieve an erection suitable for intercourse without medication. In the placebo group, only 9% of the men had an EHS score of 3-4.
Ten weeks after the study began, the men in the placebo group were given the option to have active treatment and thus became the "active placebo" group.
The men were again assessed at 12 and 24 weeks. The researchers found that improvements in both groups diminished over time. It's possible that follow-up treatments, larger doses, or ED medication would be needed to maintain the results, the researchers suggested.
The two groups showed no significant differences in IIEF scores after week 5.
The study was first published online in December in The Scandinavian Journal of Urology. Please click here for more information.