Efficacy of penile low-intensity shockwave therapy and determinants of treatment response in taiwanese patients with erectile dysfunction

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Erectile dysfunction (ED) remains an emotional wrench to patients and a therapeutic challenge to urologists in andrology clinics worldwide. This is, in part, related to refraction to, or transient effect of phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors (PDE5i), coupled with patients’ dissatisfaction with this treatment modality. Low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy (Li-ESWT) is an evolving treatment option, with promising curative potential. Current international guidelines are inconclusive, bear weak recommendation strength, and lack ethnogeographic con-sensus. Objectives: This study evaluated the safety, efficacy, and effect duration of Li-ESWT, as well as exploring disease-associated determinants of treatment success in Taiwanese males with ED. Methods: A cohort of 69 eligible cases treated with 12 sessions of Li-ESWT and followed up for at least 12 months after treatment, between January 2018 and December 2019 at our medical facility, was used. The present single-center, retrospective, non-randomized, single-arm study em-ployed standardized erectile function evaluation indices, namely, the five-item International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) and Erection Hardness Score (EHS). Clinicopathological analyses of selected variables and comparative analyses of time-phased changes in the EF indices relative to baseline values were performed. Evaluation of treatment success was based on minimal clinically important difference (MCID), using a binomial logistic regression model. Results: The median age and duration of ED for our Taiwanese cohort were 55 years and 12 months, respectively, and an average of 31.3% presented with co-morbidities. The mean improvement in IIEF-5, EHS, and quality of life (QoL) domain scores relative to the baseline values was statistically very significant (p < 0.001) at all indicated follow-up time-points. When stratified, Taiwanese patients with severe and moderate ED benefited more from Li-ESWT, compared with those in the mild or mild-to-moderate group. Patients’ pre-Li-ESWT PDE5i response status was not found to significantly influence Li-ESWT response. Univariate analysis showed that age > 45 years (p = 0.04), uncontrolled diabetes mellitus (p = 0.04), and uncontrolled hyperlipidemia (p = 0.01) were strongly associated with Li-ESWT efficacy; however, only age > 45 years (p = 0.04) and uncontrolled hyperlipidemia (p = 0.03) were found to be independent negative predictors of Li-ESWT success by the multivariate logistic model. Follow-up was uneventful, with no treatment-related adverse events or side effects reported. Of the treated patients, 86.1% indicated satisfaction with the treatment regimen, and over 90% indicated they would recommend the same therapy to others. Conclusions: Li-ESWT is a safe and efficacious therapeutic modality for Taiwanese patients with ED. Uncontrolled hyperlipidemia and age > 45 years are independent negative predictors of treatment success for this cohort.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1670
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • EHS
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Ethnogeography
  • Extracorporeal shockwave therapy
  • IIEF-5
  • Independent predictors
  • Li-ESWT
  • MCID
  • Minimal clinically important difference
  • Treatment success

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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