Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) has been reported to reduce blood pressure (BP) using clinic BP readings. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of a course of EECP on BP using ambulatory BP (ABP) measurements.
EECP has a lasting BP lowering effect.
Patients referred for EECP due to refractory angina pectoris were consecutively included in the study. The ABPs were measured for 24 hours using a Spacelabs Ultralite 90217 device at 5 time points during the study period: 2 months before the EECP course, just before the EECP course, just after the EECP course, and at 3 and 12 months after EECP. Antihypertensive medication was held constant during the study period. Changes in BP were tested by repeated measures analysis.
Fifty patients were included in the study. The mean age was 63 years, and 72% were male. The Canadian Cardiovascular Society Angina Grading Scale class improved from a mean of 2.6 to 1.5. The mean daytime ABPs were 114/69, 114/70, 115/71, 114/70, and 116/71 mm Hg and the mean nighttime ABPs were 107/63, 108/63, 106/62, 108/63, and 107/62 mm Hg at 2 months before the EECP course, just before the EECP course, just after the EECP course, and at 3 and 12 months after EECP, respectively (all P > 0.10). Further, when controlling for quartiles of baseline ABP level, no significant change in ABP was found.
Enhanced external counterpulsation treatment has no lasting effect on ABP.
The study was supported by a grant from the Danish Heart Foundation (grant no. 06-10-B551-A1204-22346) and from “Ringkøbing Amts Sundhedsvidenskabelige Forskningsfond.” The authors have no other funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.