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OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy and safety of sono-electro-magnetic therapy compared to placebo in men with refractory CPPS. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind single center trial, we assessed the effect of sono-electro-magnetic therapy in men with treatment refractory CPPS. Sixty male patients were randomly assigned to treatment with either sono-electro-magnetic (n = 30) or placebo therapy (n = 30) for 12 weeks. The primary outcome was a change in the National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI) from baseline to 12 weeks. RESULTS: The 12-week difference between sono-electro-magnetic and placebo therapy in changes of the NIH-CPSI total score was -3.1 points (95% CI -6.8 to 0.6, p = 0.11). In secondary comparisons of NIH-CPSI sub-scores, we found differences between groups most pronounced for the quality-of-life sub-score (difference at 12 weeks -1.6, 95% CI -2.8 to -0.4, p = 0.015). In stratified analyses, the benefit of sono-electro-magnetic therapy appeared more pronounced among patients who had a symptom duration of 12 months or less (difference in NIH-CPSI total score -8.3, 95% CI -14.5 to 2.6) than in patients with a longer symptom duration (-0.8, 95% CI -4.6 to 3.1; p for interaction = 0.023). CONCLUSIONS: Sono-electro-magnetic therapy did not result in a significant improvement of symptoms in the overall cohort of treatment refractory CPPS patients compared to placebo treatment. Subgroup analysis indicates, however, that patients with a symptom-duration of 12 months or less may benefit from sono-electro-magnetic therapy, warranting larger randomized controlled trials in this subpopulation. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT00688506.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Adult, Chronic Pain, Double-Blind Method, Electric Stimulation Therapy, Humans, Magnetic Field Therapy, Male, Middle Aged, Pelvic Pain, Treatment Outcome, Ultrasonic Therapy