Low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy (Li-ESWT) has been reported as a useful and noninvasive treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). Systematic review and meta-analysis are utilized to evaluate the efficacy of Li-ESWT by comparing the changes in the International Index of Erectile Function erectile function domain (IIEF-EF) and the Erection Hardness Score (EHS) versus sham therapy in men with ED. A systematic search of the MEDLINE, EMBASE, ClinicalTrials.gov, CBM, CNKI, WANGFANG, and VIP was conducted to obtain randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in peer-reviewed journals or presented in abstract forms of Li-ESWT for ED treatment from January 2010 to June 2018. If RCTs are published in peer-reviewed literature and IIEF-EF scores and EHS are used to assess erectile function outcomes, they are eligible for inclusion. A meta-analysis was used to summarize the estimates. The meta-analysis included seven RCTs involving 522 participants. The data revealed that men treated with Li-ESWT showed significant improvement in pooled mean IIEF-EF scores from baseline to follow-up compared with sham therapy (MD: 1.99 points; 95% CI [1.35, 2.63]; p < .00001). Changes in the IIEF-EF score increased significantly in the treatment group (MD: 3.62; 95% CI [2.99, 4.25]; p < .00001). The EHS increased significantly in the treatment group in four studies (OR: 16.02; 95% CI [7.93, 32.37]; p < .00001). Patients with moderate and/or severe ED reported better results in mean IIEF scores (MD: 3.95; 95% CI [2.44, 5.46]; p < .00001). In meta-analysis of seven RCTs with men who received Li-ESWT for ED, there was evidence that the IIEF-EF and EHS experienced improvements following Li-ESWT.
Keywords: EHS; Erectile dysfunction; IIEF-EF; low-intensity extracorporeal shock waves; meta-analysis.