After treatment with low-intensity shock wave treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED), only half of patients with initial treatment success maintain benefits at 2 years.

Low-intensity shock wave treatment is effective for short-term treatment of erectile dysfunction, but its efficacy declines after 2 years, particularly in those with initial severe dysfunction, according to a study published in The Journal of Urology [1].

Noam D. Kitrey, MD, and colleagues from Sheba Medical Center in Israel studied the long-term efficacy of penile low-intensity shock wave treatment 2 years after an initially successful outcome among 156 patients.

The researchers found that at one month, treatment was successful in 99 patients (63.5%), but during follow-up a gradual decrease in efficacy was observed. At 2 years, the beneficial effect was maintained in only 53.5% of patients in whom success was initially achieved. Over the 2-year follow-up, the treatment effect was lost in all patients with diabetes who initially had severe erectile dysfunction. However, for patients with milder forms of erectile dysfunction without diabetes, there was a 76% chance that the beneficial effect of low-intensity shock wave treatment would be preserved after 2 years.

"Low-intensity shock wave treatment is effective in the short-term but treatment efficacy was maintained after 2 years in only half of the patients," the authors write. "In patients with milder forms of erectile dysfunction the beneficial effect is more likely to be preserved."

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[1] Kitrey ND, Vardi Y, Appel B et al. Low Intensity Shock Wave Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction-How Long Does the Effect Last? The Journal of urology 200(1), 167-170 (2018).