Background: The present study attempted to investigate the therapeutic effect and duration of low intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy (LiESWT) on overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms, including social activity and the quality of life (QoL).
Methods: In this prospective, randomized, single-blinded clinical trial, 65 participants with OAB symptom were randomly divided into receive LiESWT (0.25 mJ/mm2, 3000 pulses, 3 pulses/second) once a week for 8 weeks, or an identical sham LiESWT treatment without the energy transmission. We analyzed the difference in overactive bladder symptom score (OABSS) and 3-day urinary diary as the primary end. The secondary endpoint consisted of the change in uroflowmetry, post-voided residual (PVR) urine, and validated standardized questionnaires at the baseline (W0), 4-week (W4) and 8-week (W8) of LiESWT, and 1-month (F1), 3-month (F3) and 6-month (F6) follow-up after LiESWT.
Results: 8-week LiESWT could significantly decrease urinary frequency, nocturia, urgency, and PVR volume, but meaningfully increase functional bladder capacity, average voided volume and maximal flow rate (Qmax) as compared with the W0 in the LiESWT group. In addition, the scores calculated from questionnaires were meaningfully reduced at W4, W8, F1, F3, and F6 in the LiESWT group.
Conclusions: Our results revealed that the therapeutic efficacy of LiESWT could improve voided volume and ameliorate OAB symptoms, such as urgency, frequency, nocturia, and urinary incontinence, and lasted up to 6 month of follow-up. Moreover, LiESWT treatment brought statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements in social activity and QoL of patients. These findings suggested that LiESWT could serve as an alternative non-invasive therapy for OAB patients.