Hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a treatment for erectile dysfunction: a meta-analysis.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment in which the patient is exposed to 100% oxygen at a higher than atmospheric pressure. Over the past few decades, HBOT has been used to treat a variety of medical conditions. In recent times, there has been a rising curiosity regarding the potential therapeutic benefits of HBOT in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED).

The study sought to review and meta-analyze available data regarding the use of HBOT for ED, including its potential mechanisms of action and effectiveness.

We included only articles that evaluated the impact of HBOT on ED symptoms using the International Index of Erectile Function score. Prospective nonrandomized studies or randomized controlled clinical trials were included. Data extraction was performed in duplicate. Data analysis was conducted using Review Manager 5.41, and the presence of heterogeneity between studies was evaluated. The results were presented as the mean difference (MD) with 95% confidence interval (CI).

A total of 5 studies that reported outcomes using the International Index of Erectile Function scores were included in this analysis. In patients with post-robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy-induced ED, the analysis showed a significant MD of -4.13 (95% CI, -6.08 to -2.18; P < .0001) in favor of the control group. Conversely, patients who received HBOT for reasons other than ED exhibited an MD of 4.58 (95% CI, 2.63 to 6.52; P < .00001). In the group that received HBOT for pure vasculogenic ED, the MD was 10.50 (95% CI, 9.92 to 11.08) in favor of HBOT. A meta-analysis of these data revealed a nonsignificant difference in erectile function scores, with an MD of 3.86 (95% CI, -2.13 to 9.86; P = .21).

The use of HBOT in the treatment of ED appears to be a promising approach. While further research is needed to establish the efficacy and long-term effects of this treatment, preliminary studies have shown encouraging results in terms of improving erectile function in men with vasculogenic ED.

Sexual medicine reviews. 2023 Nov 09 [Epub ahead of print]

Gal Saffati, Taher Naeem, Maya Guhan, Alejandro Abello, David Eugenio Hinojosa-Gonzalez, Basil Kaaki, Blair T Stocks, Larry I Lipshultz, Mohit Khera

Scott Department of Urology, Baylor College of Medicine, 7200 Cambridge Street, Houston, TX 77030, United States., Department of Urology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, United States.