EECP Improves Peripheral Artery Flow-mediated Dilation

EECP Improves Peripheral Artery Flow-mediated Dilation
Written by: Flow Therapy

This post is an excerpt from randomized study originally circulated in 2010. Click the link at the bottom to read the full article.

Enhanced external counterpulsation improves peripheral artery flow-mediated dilation in patients with chronic angina: a randomized sham-controlled study

Background: Mechanisms responsible for anti-ischemic benefits of enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) remain unknown. This was the first randomized sham-controlled study to investigate the extracardiac effects of EECP on peripheral artery flow-mediated dilation.

Methods and results: Forty-two symptomatic patients with coronary artery disease were randomized (2:1 ratio) to thirty-five 1-hour sessions of either EECP (n=28) or sham EECP (n=14). Flow-mediated dilation of the brachial and femoral arteries was performed with the use of ultrasound. Plasma levels of nitrate and nitrite, 6-keto-prostaglandin F(1α), endothelin-1, asymmetrical dimethylarginine, tumor necrosis factor-α, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and 8-isoprostane were measured. EECP increased brachial (+51% versus +2%) and femoral (+30% versus +3%) artery flow-mediated dilation, the nitric oxide turnover/production markers nitrate and nitrite (+36% versus +2%), and 6-keto-prostaglandin F(1α) (+71% versus +1%), whereas it decreased endothelin-1 (-25% versus +5%) and the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor asymmetrical dimethylarginine (-28% versus +0.2%) in treatment versus sham groups, respectively (all P<0.05). EECP decreased the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (-16% versus +12%), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (-13% versus +0.2%), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (-6% versus +1%), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (-32% versus +5%), and the lipid peroxidation marker 8-isoprostane (-21% versus +1.3%) in treatment versus sham groups, respectively (all P<0.05). EECP reduced angina classification (-62% versus 0%; P<0.001) in treatment versus sham groups, respectively.

Conclusions: Our findings provide novel mechanistic evidence that EECP has a beneficial effect on peripheral artery flow-mediated dilation and endothelial-derived vasoactive agents in patients with symptomatic coronary artery disease.


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