This post is an excerpt from a clinical trial on Congestive Heart Failure originally published in 2007. Click the link at the bottom to read the full article.
Patients with refractory angina and left ventricular (LV) dysfunction exert an enormous burden on health care resources primarily because of the number of recurrent emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations.
Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) therapy has emerged as a treatment option for patients with angina and LV dysfunction and has been shown to improve clinical outcomes and LV function. Improvements in symptoms and laboratory assessments in these patients, however, do not necessarily correlate with a reduction in ED visits and hospitalizations. This is the first study to assess the impact of EECP therapy on ED visits and hospitalization rates at 6-month follow-up. This prospective cohort study included 450 patients with LV dysfunction (ejection fraction <or=40%) treated with EECP therapy for refractory angina. Clinical outcomes, number of all-cause ED visits, and hospitalizations within the 6 months before EECP therapy were compared with those at 6-month follow-up. Despite the unfavorable risk profile, refractory angina patients with LV dysfunction achieved a substantial reduction in all-cause ED visits and hospitalization rates at 6-month follow-up. EECP therapy appears to offer an effective adjunctive treatment option for this group of patients.