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      Effectiveness of Repeat Enhanced External Counterpulsation for Refractory Angina in Patients Failing to Complete an Initial Course of Therapy

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          Aims: This study examined the causes and results of retreatment of patients who failed to complete an initial 35-hour Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) course . Methods and Results:Data of 2,311 successive angina patients from the International EECP Patient Registry were analyzed, 86.5% completed their EECP course (Complete cohort). Of the 13.5% patients failing to complete the initial course (Incomplete cohort), 28.3% had repeat EECP within 1 year vs. 10.1% of the Complete group. The predictors of failure to complete the initial course of EECP were: female gender, heart failure, use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers, and use of nitroglycerin. For the Complete group, 83.4% had a reduction of at least one Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) class after their initial EECP course, vs. 21.7% in the Incomplete group (p < 0.001). After repeat treatment, 66.2% of the Incomplete group achieved at least one CCS class reduction vs. 69.4% of the Complete group (p = NS) undergoing retreatment. The independent predictors for those who return to successfully complete their second course were patients who stopped their first course because of clinical events, and candidacy for coronary artery bypass grafting at the time of initial treatment. Conclusion: The results of retreatment of those who failed to complete their initial EECP course were comparable to those who completed their initial treatment, with similar reductions of CCS angina class.

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          The multicenter study of enhanced external counterpulsation (MUST-EECP): effect of EECP on exercise-induced myocardial ischemia and anginal episodes.

          The purpose of this study was to assess safety and efficacy of enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP). Case series have shown that EECP can improve exercise tolerance, symptoms and myocardial perfusion in stable angina pectoris. A multicenter, prospective, randomized, blinded, controlled trial was conducted in seven university hospitals in 139 outpatients with angina, documented coronary artery disease (CAD) and positive exercise treadmill test. Patients were given 35 h of active counterpulsation (active CP) or inactive counterpulsation (inactive CP) over a four- to seven-week period. Outcome measures were exercise duration and time to > or =1-mm ST-segment depression, average daily anginal attack count and nitroglycerin usage. Exercise duration increased in both groups, but the between-group difference was not significant (p > 0.3). Time to > or =1-mm ST-segment depression increased significantly from baseline in active CP compared with inactive CP (p = 0.01). More active-CP patients saw a decrease and fewer experienced an increase in angina episodes as compared with inactive-CP patients (p 0.7). Enhanced external counterpulsation reduces angina and extends time to exercise-induced ischemia in patients with symptomatic CAD. Treatment was relatively well tolerated and free of limiting side effects in most patients.
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            Left ventricular systolic unloading and augmentation of intracoronary pressure and Doppler flow during enhanced external counterpulsation.

            Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) is a noninvasive, pneumatic technique that provides beneficial effects for patients with chronic, symptomatic angina pectoris. However, the physiological effects of EECP have not been studied directly. We examined intracoronary and left ventricular hemodynamics in the cardiac catheterization laboratory during EECP. Ten patients referred for diagnostic evaluation underwent left heart catheterization and coronary angiography from the radial artery. At baseline and then during EECP, central aortic pressure, intracoronary pressure, and intracoronary Doppler flow velocity were measured using a coronary catheter, a sensor-tipped high-fidelity pressure guidewire, and a Doppler flow guidewire, respectively. Similar to changes in aortic pressure, EECP resulted in a dramatic increase in diastolic (71+/-10 mm Hg at baseline to 137+/-21 mm Hg during EECP; +93%; P<0.0001) and mean intracoronary pressures (88+/-9 to 102+/-16 mm Hg; +16%; P=0.006) with a decrease in systolic pressure (116+/-20 to 99+/-26 mm Hg; -15%; P=0.002). The intracoronary Doppler measure of average peak velocity increased from 11+/-5 cm/s at baseline to 23+/-5 cm/s during EECP (+109%; P=0.001). The TIMI frame count, a quantitative angiographic measure of coronary flow, showed a 28% increase in coronary flow during EECP compared with baseline (P=0.001). EECP unequivocally and significantly increases diastolic and mean pressures and reduces systolic pressure in the central aorta and the coronary artery. Coronary artery flow, determined by both Doppler and angiographic techniques, is increased during EECP. The combined effects of systolic unloading and increased coronary perfusion pressure provide evidence that EECP may serve as a potential mechanical assist device.
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              Effects of enhanced external counterpulsation on stress radionuclide coronary perfusion and exercise capacity in chronic stable angina pectoris

              Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) is an effective noninvasive treatment for patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). EECP has been demonstrated to improve anginal class and time to ST-segment depression during exercise stress testing. This study assesses the efficacy of EECP in improving stress-induced myocardial ischemia using radionuclide perfusion treadmill stress tests (RPSTs). The international study group enrolled patients from 7 centers with chronic stable angina pectoris and a baseline ischemic pre-EECP RPST. Patients' demographic and clinical characteristics were recorded. A baseline pre-EECP maximal RPST was performed within 1 month before EECP treatment. The results were compared with a follow-up RPST performed within 6 months of completion of a 35-hour course of EECP. Four centers performed post-EECP RPST to the same level of exercise as pre-EECP, whereas 3 centers performed maximal RPST post-EECP. The study enrolled 175 patients (155 men and 20 women). Improvement in angina, defined by > or =1 Canadian Cardiovascular Society angina class change, was reported in 85% of patients. In the centers performing the same level of exercise, 81 of 97 patients (83%) had significant improvement in RPST perfusion images. Patients who underwent maximal RPST revealed improvement in exercise duration (6.61 +/- 1.88 pre-EECP vs 7.41 +/- 2.03 minutes post-EECP, p <0.0001); 42 of the 78 patients (54%) in this group showed significant improvement in RPST perfusion images. Thus, EECP was effective in improving stress myocardial perfusion in patients with chronic stable angina at both comparable (baseline) and at maximal exercise levels.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                September 2007
                01 November 2006
                : 108
                : 3
                : 170-175
                aSUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, N.Y., bMayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., cCardiology, UCSF, San Francisco, Calif., dCardiology, University of Pittsburgh, and eEpidemiology Center, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa., USA
                96646 Cardiology 2007;108:170–175
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 2, References: 10, Pages: 6
                Original Research


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