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Cardiology. 2003;100(3):129-35.

Enhanced external counterpulsation as initial revascularization treatment for angina refractory to medical therapy.

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Heart Care Clinic of Arkansas, Little Rock, USA.


Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) is effective in patients with angina refractory to medical therapy or revascularization. However, as a noninvasive treatment it should perhaps be considered the first-line treatment with invasive revascularization reserved for EECP failures or high-risk patients. The International EECP Patient Registry was used to analyze a cohort of patients with prior percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and/or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) (n = 4,454) compared with a group of patients (PUMPERS) who were candidates for PCI and/or CABG and chose EECP as their initial revascularization treatment (n = 215). The PUMPERS responded to treatment with EECP with decreased anginal episodes and nitroglycerin use and with improvement in their Canadian Cardiovascular Society functional class, similarly to previously revascularized patients. Treatment with EECP resulted in sustained, and often progressive, reduction in angina over the succeeding 6 months. Given the findings of this study, it is interesting to speculate on the possibility of using EECP as the primary revascularization intervention after medical therapy proves unsatisfactory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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