[Effectiveness of low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy on patients with Erectile Dysfunction (ED) who have failed to respond to PDE5i therapy. A pilot study]

Arch Esp Urol. 2015 Mar;68(2):152-60.
[Article in Spanish]


Low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy (LIESWT) of the penis has recently emerged as a promising modality in the treatment of ED.

Objectives: The objective of this paper is to assess the effectiveness and safety of LIESWT on patients with ED who have failed to respond to PDE5i treatment.

Methods: Open label, prospective, longitudinal observational study. The study involved an uncontrolled population of 25 patients. The treatment consisted in applying 20,000 shock waves during a period of four weeks. In each session the patient received 5000 shock waves of 0.09 mJ/mm2: 1800 were applied on the penis (900 on each corpus cavernosum), and 3200 were applied on the perineum (1600 on each crus). During the active treatment and follow-up phases, all patients remained on their regular high on demand or once-a-day dose PDE5i schedules.

Main outcome measure: Effectiveness was assessed by IIEF-6, SEP2, SEP3 and GAQ. Patients were considered to be responders whenever they improved on all three erection assessment parameters and respond positively to the GAQ at three months post-treatment. Adverse events were recorded. Statistical variables were applied and findings were considered to be statistically significant whenever the P value was<0.05.

Results: Eighty percent (median age 63) of the patients (20/25) completed the study. Five patients were lost to follow-up and were excluded from the analysis. Sixty percent (60%) of the patients responded to the treatment, improved the 3 efficacy evaluating parameters and responded positively to the GAQ. The increase in mean IIEF-6 score was of 9 points after the third post-treatment month. There were no patients reporting treatment-related adverse events.

Conclusions: LIESWT for men with ED and that are PDE5i non-responders was safe and effective and restoring PDE5i response in more than 50% of patients.A large-scale multicenter study is required to determine the benefits of this treatment for ED.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Erectile Dysfunction / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Failure
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonic Therapy / methods*


  • Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors