(HealthDay News) — 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.

Noam D. Kitrey, MD, from Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel, and colleagues 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 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.

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“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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Kitrey ND, Vardi Y, Appel B, et al. Low Intensity Shock Wave Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction—How Long Does the Effect Last? J Urol. DOI: 10.1016/j.juro.2018.02.070