Short-term efficacy and safety of low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy in erectile dysfunction: a systematic review and meta-analysis

ABSTRACT Aim: The role of low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy (LI-ESWT) in erectile dysfunction (ED) is not clearly determined. The purpose of this study is to investigate the short-term efficacy and safety of LI-ESWT for ED patients. Materials and Methods: Relevant studies were searched in Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), WANFANG and VIP databases. Effective rate in terms of International Index of Erectile Function-Erectile Function Domain (IIEF-EF) and Erectile Hardness Score (EHS) at about 1XSmonth after LI-ESWT was extracted from eligible studies for meta-analysis to calculate risk ratio (RR) of effective treatment in ED patients treated by LI-ESWT compared to those receiving sham-treatment. Results: Overall fifteen studies were included in the review, of which four randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were for meta-analysis. Effective treatment was 8.31 [95°/o confidence interval (CI): 3.88-17.78] times more effective in the LI-ESWT group (n=176) than in the sham-treatment group (n= 101) at about 1 month after the intervention in terms of EHS, while it was 2.50 (95% CI: 0.74–8.45) times more in the treatment group (n= 121) than in the control group (n=89) in terms of IIEF-EF. Nine-week protocol with energy density of 0.09mJ/mm2 and 1500 pluses seemed to have better therapeutic effect than five-week protocol. No significant adverse event was reported. Conclusion: LI-ESWT, as a noninvasive treatment, has potential short-term therapeutic effect on patients with organic ED irrespective of sensitivity to PDE5is. Owing to the limited number and quality of the studies, more large-scale, well-designed and longterm follow-up time studies are needed to confirm our analysis.