Extracorporeal shock wave treatment for non-inflammatory chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a prospective, randomized and sham-controlled study

Chin Med J (Engl). 2012 Jan;125(1):114-8.


Background: Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is a clinical syndrome characterized by pain in the perineum, pelvis, suprapubic area, or external genitalia and variable degrees of voiding and ejaculatory disturbance. The analgesic effect of extracorporeal shock wave treatment (ESWT) was an interesting phenomenon with an unclear mechanism discovered by chance in the applications for urolithiasis, on which ESWT has become an increasingly popular therapeutic approach as an alternative option for the treatment of a number of soft tissue complaints. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of ESWT in non-inflammatory (IIIB) CP/CPPS.

Methods: Men diagnosed with IIIB CP/CPPS were randomized to either ESWT (group 1, n = 40) or the control (group 2, n = 40). Group 1 received 20 000 shock wave impulses in 10 sessions over a two-week period, whereas group 2 received only a sham procedure. The total scores and sub-domain scores of the National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI) for both groups were assessed at baseline, mid-treatment, end-point, and 4-week and 12-week follow-up visits.

Results: The mean total NIH-CPSI score of group 1 was significantly decreased from baseline at all post-treatment time points (P < 0.01 for all). Decreases in pain domain and quality of life (QOL) scores were also significant. In group 2, no significant decreases of total NIH-CPSI score and pain domain score were found at all post-treatment time points. At the end-point of treatment, 71.1% of group 1 exhibited perceptible improvement in total NIH-CPSI compared with 27.0% of group 2 (P < 0.001); additionally, 28.9% of group 1 exhibited clinically significant improvement compared with 10.8% of group 2 (P < 0.01). Moreover, a greater number of patients in group 1 at 4-week and 12-week follow-up were rated as responders (perceptible and clinically significant response) compared with group 2.

Conclusion: ESWT exhibits a potentially therapeutic role in the treatment of CP/CPPS.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Female
  • High-Energy Shock Waves / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvic Pain / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome