This post is an excerpt from an article originally published in 2006 by BMC Cardiovascular Disorders. Click the link at the bottom to read the full article.
The results from the present study show that EECP is a safe treatment for highly symptomatic patients with refractory angina. The beneficial effects were sustained during a 12-months follow-up period.
Background: Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) is a non-invasive technique that has been shown to be effective in reducing both angina and myocardial ischemia in patients not responding to medical therapy and without revascularization alternatives. The aim of the present study was to assess the long-term outcome of EECP treatment at a Scandinavian centre, in relieving angina in patients with chronic refractory angina pectoris.
Methods: 55 patients were treated with EECP. Canadian cardiovascular society (CCS) class, antianginal medication and adverse clinical events were collected prior to EECP, at the end of the treatment, and at six and 12 months after EECP treatment. Clinical signs and symptoms were recorded.
Results: EECP treatment significantly improved the CCS class in 79 +/- 6% of the patients with chronic angina pectoris (p < 0.001). The reduction in CCS angina class was seen in patients with CCS class III and IV and persisted 12 months after EECP treatment. There was no significant relief in angina in patients with CCS class II prior to EECP treatment. 73 +/- 7% of the patients with a reduction in CCS class after EECP treatment improved one CCS class, and 22 +/- 7% of the patients improved two CCS classes. The improvement of two CCS classes could progress over a six months period and tended to be more prominent in patients with CCS class IV. In accordance with the reduction in CCS classes there was a significant decrease in the weekly nitroglycerin usage (p < 0.05).