A recent sham-controlled clinical study has shown that low-intensity pulsed ultrasound twice per week can safely and effectively treat patients with mild-to-moderate erectile dysfunction (ED). However, large-scale clinical trials are needed to verify its efficacy and safety and determine a reasonable treatment interval.
To study whether low-intensity pulsed ultrasound therapy thrice per week is non-inferior to twice per week in patients with mild-to-moderate ED.
A randomized, open-label, parallel-group, non-inferiority clinical trial was conducted in 7 hospitals in China. A total of 323 patients with mild-to-moderate ED were randomized (1:1) into thrice per week (3/W) and twice per week (2/W) groups. Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound was applied on each side of the penis for 16 sessions.
The primary outcome was response rate using the minimal clinically important difference in the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-EF) score at week 12. Secondary outcomes included Erection Hardness Score (EHS), Sexual Encounter Profile, Global Assessment Question, and Self Esteem and Relationship Questionnaire.
Response rates in 3/W and 2/W groups were 62.0% and 62.5%, respectively. Treatment effect in the 3/W group was noninferior to that of the 2/W group, with rate difference lower bound of -0.01% [95% confidence interval -0.11 to 0.10%] within the acceptable margin (-14.0%). No significant difference was found among secondary outcomes. IIEF-EF score showed a significant increase from baseline in the 3/W group (16.8 to 20.7) and 2/W group (17.8 to 21.7), and the percentage of patients with EHS ≥3 increased in the 3/W (54.9% to 84.0%) and 2/W (59.5% to 83.5%) groups. There was no significant difference in response rate between the 2 groups after controlling for strata factors and homogeneous tests. No treatment-related adverse events were reported.
Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound therapy displays similar efficacy and safety for mild-to-moderate ED when administered thrice or twice per week for 16 sessions. This study provides two options to suit patients' needs.
This is a large-sample, randomized, controlled, noninferiority trial study. Short-term follow-up and mostly younger patients are the main limitations.
Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound therapy thrice and twice per week showed equivalent therapeutic effects and safety for mild-to-moderate ED in a young and generally healthy population. This therapy warrants further investigation of its potential value in rehabilitation of ED. Chen, H., Li Z., Li X., et al. The Efficacy and Safety of Thrice vs Twice per Week Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction: A Randomized Clinical Trial. J Sex Med 2022;XX:XXX-XXX.
The journal of sexual medicine. 2022 Aug 20 [Epub ahead of print]
Huirong Chen, Zheng Li, Xianchen Li, Yong Yang, Yutian Dai, Zuogang Xie, Jiaquan Xiao, Xiaoqiang Liu, Luo Yang, Chenkun Shi, Erlei Zhi, Ruhui Tian, Peng Li, Huixing Chen, Fujun Zhao, Jianlin Hu, Chencheng Yao, Guiting Lin, Tom F Lue, Shujie Xia
Clinical Medical Center of Urology, Institute of Urology, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China., Clinical Research Center, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China., Department of Urology, The Affiliated Hospital of Changchun University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Changchun, Jilin, China., Department of Andrology, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, The Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China., Department of Andrology, Wenzhou Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China., Department of Urology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China., Department of Urology, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin, China., Department of Urology and Pelvic surgery, West China Fourth Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China., Department of Reproductive Medicine, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China., Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, USA., Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, USA. Electronic address: ., Clinical Medical Center of Urology, Institute of Urology, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China. Electronic address: .