This post is an excerpt from a review on Current Heart Failure Reports originally published in 2006. Click the link at the bottom to read the full article.
Balloon counterpulsation has gained widespread acceptance as a therapy for cardiogenic shock.
However, over the past four decades a parallel method of noninvasive counterpulsation, enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP), has been defined and developed. Mechanisms of benefit for this technology continue to emerge and include enhanced coronary and other key target organ perfusion beds. Other mechanisms include angiogenesis and enhanced cellular metabolism. Beyond putative mechanisms there is ample evidence for improved and sustained outcomes in patients with and without left ventricular dysfunction. This evidence comes from long-term registry reports and randomized clinical trials. With respect to heart failure (HF), there is registry, pilot trial, and randomized clinical trial evidence of safety and efficacy. This paper summarizes some of the mechanisms and outcomes of EECP in HF patients and helps to elucidate the role of EECP in the management of patients with chronic HF.