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Keywords:

  • implantable cardioverter defibrillator;
  • enhanced external counterpulsation;
  • heart failure;
  • EECP

Background

Potential interference between implanted cardiac devices and other medical instruments is an important concern. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the possible device interaction between implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and external enhanced counterpulsation (EECP) treatment.

Methods

Twenty-one patients with an implanted ICD or cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D) were enrolled into the study. EECP had applied as two sessions of 5 minutes. Data from device interrogations before and after the first EECP session and during second EECP session were recorded and analyzed for signs of possible device interaction.

Results

There was no sign of inappropriate sensing or noise during EECP session. There was no difference regarding electrode impedance, pacing, and sensing values before and after EECP. There was a statistically significant difference regarding heart rates during EECP therapy between rate response off and on modes (68.69 ± 5.92 beats/min and 90.32 ± 11.05 beats/min, respectively P = 0,001). In four patients with CRT-D and unipolar left ventricular pacing, counterpulsation could not be done because of QRS sensing problems.

Conclusions

EECP seems to be a safe treatment modality in patients with implanted ICD and CRT-D devices. It should be kept in mind that in those patients with CRT-D, rate responsive mode is on; inappropriate sinus tachycardia can be seen during EECP therapy. Also in patients with CRT-D using a unipolar sensing mode, problems of QRS complex sensing by the EECP may occur and, therefore, this effects synchronization and success of EECP therapy.