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Shockwave Therapy for Diabetic Erectile Function – A Study

Shockwave Therapy for Diabetic Erectile Function – A Study

Title: Effects of low-energy shockwave therapy on the erectile function and tissue of a diabetic rat model

Authors: Xuefeng Qiu, Guiting Lin, Zhongcheng Xin, Ludovic Ferretti, Haiyang Zhang, Tom F Lue, Ching-Shwun Lin

Low-energy shockwave therapy (LESWT) has shown promise in improving erectile function in patients with diabetes-associated erectile dysfunction. This study aimed to investigate the effects of LESWT on erectile dysfunction (ED) in a rat model of diabetes mellitus (DM) and examine the changes in erectile tissues.

Male rats were divided into normal control, DM control, and DM+SW (shockwave) treatment groups. The DM group was induced with diabetes using streptozotocin. The DM+SW group received LESWT treatment, consisting of 300 shocks at an energy level of 0.1 mJ/mm² and frequency of 120/minute, three times a week for two weeks. Erectile function was evaluated, and penile tissues were examined histologically.

The results showed that DM significantly impaired erectile function and reduced the number of nerves positive for neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), as well as the content of endothelium and smooth muscle in the penis. However, LESWT partially reversed these deficits. The treatment promoted regeneration of nNOS-positive nerves, endothelium, and smooth muscle in the penis.

Furthermore, the study found that LESWT increased the presence of endogenous mesenchymal cells (MSCs) in the penile tissues of diabetic rats. These MSCs may play a role in mediating the beneficial effects of LESWT.

Overall, this study demonstrates that LESWT can partially improve DM-associated ED in a rat model by promoting tissue regeneration and the recruitment of MSCs. These findings suggest that LESWT holds potential as a non-invasive treatment option for erectile dysfunction in diabetic individuals, offering a novel approach to addressing this common complication of diabetes.

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