Hyperbaric oxygen can induce angiogenesis and recover erectile function
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is caused by microvascular or macrovascular insufficiency in the majority of patients. Recent studies have shown that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can induce angiogenesis in different body organs. The effect of HBOT on the non-surgery-related ED has not been investigated yet. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effects of HBOT on sexual function and penile vascular bed in non-surgical ED patients. A prospective analysis of patients suffering from chronic ED treated with 40 daily HBOT sessions. Clinical efficacy was assessed using the International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire (IIEF) and a global efficacy question (GEQ). The effect on the penile vascular bed was evaluated by perfusion MRI. Thirty men (mean age of 59.2 ± 1.4) suffering from ED for 4.2 ± 0.6 years completed the protocol. HBOT significantly improved all IIEF domains by 15–88% (p < 0.01). Erectile function improved by 88% (p < 0.0001) and 80% of the patients reported positive outcome according to the GEQ. Angiogenesis was indicated by perfusion MRI that showed a significant increase by 153.3 ± 43.2% of K-trans values in the corpous cavernous (p < 0.0001). HBOT can induce penile angiogenesis and improve erectile function in men suffering from EcD. HBOT reverses the basic common pathophysiology, atherosclerosis and decreased penile perfusion, responsible for most cases of ED.