The use of low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy in management of erectile dysfunction following prostate cancer treatment: a review of the current literature.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a prevalent and impactful complication post definitive management of prostate cancer. The mechanism of ED is thought to be secondary to vascular and neural injury as well as corporal smooth muscle damage with resultant fibrosis. The use of penile rehabilitation in ED following treatment for prostate cancer has been studied. Low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy (Li-ESWT) is a novel treatment for ED thought to stimulate neovascularization and nerve regeneration, and as such, has gained interest in treatment of ED related to radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy. Herein, we performed a narrative review on the use of Li-ESWT in management of ED following treatment for prostate cancer.

A literature review was performed using PubMed and Google Scholar. Studies evaluating Li-ESWT following prostate cancer treatment were included.

We identified three randomized controlled trials and two observational studies that assessed use of Li-ESWT for ED after prostate surgery. Use of Li-ESWT across most studies showed improvements in the International Index of Erectile Function-erectile function (IIEF-EF) domain scores, but this improvement was not statistically significant. Additionally, use of Li-ESWT in an early versus delayed fashion does not appear to affect changes in long-term sexual function scores. No data on use of Li-ESWT after radiotherapy were identified.

There is a paucity of data regarding use of Li-ESWT for penile rehabilitation in treatment of ED post-prostate cancer therapy. Current protocols for Li-ESWT are not standardized and have a limited number of participants with short duration of follow-up. Additional evaluation is needed to determine optimal Li-ESWT protocols. Ideally, studies should have longer follow-up to truly evaluate the clinical significance of Li-ESWT in the treatment of post-prostatectomy ED. Furthermore, the role of Li-ESWT after radiotherapy remains elusive.

Translational andrology and urology. 2023 May 22 [Epub]

Ashley N Matthew, Devin E Rogers, Gabrielle Grob, Minna Blottner, Sarah Kodama, Sarah C Krzastek

Division of Urology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA., School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA, USA.