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      Treatment Benefit in the Enhanced External Counterpulsation Consortium

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      S. Karger AG

      Noninvasive device, External counterpulsation, Angina, Assisted circulation

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          The present study utilized a cohort of 2,289 consecutive patients enrolled in the Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) Consortium to evaluate whether results of university studies showing EECP safety and effectiveness in treating angina can be generalized. EECP was found to be safe and well tolerated with a 4.0% rate of adverse experiences. Angina class improved in 74% of patients with limiting angina (Canadian Cardiovascular Society, CCS, functional class II–IV), with patients most impaired at baseline demonstrating the greatest improvement (39.5% of patients in CCS III and IV improved 2 or more classes). Efficacy was independent of provider setting or experience, women responded as well as men, and although younger patients demonstrated a greater likelihood of improvement, EECP was effective in patients ranging from 19 to 97 years. Extending the benefit of EECP treatment to a wider range of patients may be indicated based on these findings.

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          Efficacy of enhanced external counterpulsation in the treatment of angina pectoris.

          Eighteen patients with chronic angina despite surgical and medical therapy were treated with an improved system of enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) (1 hour daily for a total of 36 hours). Patients underwent a baseline treadmill thallium-201 stress test. After EECP treatment, a thallium stress test was repeated for the same exercise duration. One week after treatment, patients also underwent a maximal stress test. All patients improved in anginal symptoms and generally decreased antianginal medications, with 16 obtaining complete relief from angina. Pre- and post-thallium stress testing performed for the same duration showed complete resolution of ischemic defects in 12 patients (67%), reduction in the area of ischemia in 2 (11%), and no change in 4 (22%). Thus, a decrease in myocardial ischemia was observed in 14 patients (78%; p less than 0.01). The exercise duration of maximal stress testing after EECP significantly improved from 8.14 +/- 0.71 to 9.72 +/- 0.77 minutes (p less than 0.005), although the double product did not change significantly. Analysis of these 2 tests in the subgroup of 14 patients with improvement in thallium studies showed significant increases in both exercise duration (8.58 +/- 0.66 to 10.44 +/- 0.59 minutes; p less than 0.001) and double product (21,827 +/- 2,044 to 24,842 +/- 1,707 mm Hg.beats/min; p less than 0.01). The improvement in reperfusion defects and increase in exercise duration are reflections of improved perfusion to ischemic regions of the myocardium. EECP uses additional thigh balloons and sequenced balloon inflation, effecting a significant increase in diastolic augmentation over previously available methods.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

            Author and article information

            S. Karger AG
            November 2000
            22 November 2000
            : 94
            : 1
            : 31-35
            Division of Cardiology and Department of Surgery, SUNY at Stony Brook, N.Y., USA
            7043 Cardiology 2000;94:31–35
            © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

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            Page count
            Figures: 3, Tables: 1, References: 10, Pages: 5
            General Cardiology


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