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Clin Cardiol. 1999 Mar;22(3):173-8.

Enhanced external counterpulsation in the management of patients with cardiovascular disease.

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Cardiology Department, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


Studies over the past several decades support the hypothesis that enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) can provide long-term benefits in patients with angina secondary to chronic coronary disease. Numerous non-sham controlled trials have recently been substantiated by a multicenter, randomized trial. Although the mechanism by which this mechanical treatment effects an alteration in cellular processes within the myocardium remains unclear, recent scientific investigations suggest that shear stress induced by chronic exposure to EECP might result in the release of a variety of growth factors and the subsequent stimulation of angiogenesis in the coronary beds. Ongoing clinical trials in patients with significant left ventricular dysfunction, an international registry, and additional clinical trials may help to elucidate further the role of this novel and unique therapy in our clinical armamentarium.

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