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Keywords:

  • external counterpulsation;
  • angina pectoris;
  • coronary artery disease;
  • registry

Abstract

Background: In 1998, the International EECP Patient Registry (IEPR) was organized to document patient characteristics, safety, and efficacy during the treatment period, and long-term outcomes. All centers with EECP facilities were invited to join the voluntary Registry. The Registry population comprises all patients starting EECP therapy for treatment of angina pectoris in participating centers.

Hypothesis: The study was undertaken to determine whether EECP is a safe and effective treatment for patients with angina pectoris regardless of their suitability for revascularization by more conventional techniques.

Methods: After 18 months of operation, 43 clinical centers representing over half of clinical sites using the EECP system contributed cases. The data reported here were collected before the first EECP treatment and upon completion of final treatment. EECP can be used for patients ineligible for either coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), as well as for those who prefer noninvasive treatment to avoid or delay revascularization. in this report, patients considered to be candidates for revascularization are compared with those not considered suitable.

Results: Of the 978 patients analyzed, 70% had Canadian Cardiovascular Society Classification class III or IV angina before starting treatment, and 62% used nitroglycerin. Most (81%) had been previously revascularized, and 69% were considered unsuited for either PCI or CABG at the time of starting EECP. A full treatment course (usually 35 h) was completed in 86%, of whom 81% reported improvement of at least one angina class immediately after the last treatment.

Conclusion: In a broad patient population, EECP has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment.