Effectiveness of repeat enhanced external counterpulsation for refractory angina in patients failing to complete an initial course of therapy

Cardiology. 2007;108(3):170-5. doi: 10.1159/000096646. Epub 2006 Nov 1.


Aims: This study examined the causes and results of retreatment of patients who failed to complete an initial 35-hour Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) course.

Methods and results: Data of 2,311 successive angina patients from the International EECP Patient Registry were analyzed, 86.5% completed their EECP course (Complete cohort). Of the 13.5% patients failing to complete the initial course (Incomplete cohort), 28.3% had repeat EECP within 1 year vs. 10.1% of the Complete group. The predictors of failure to complete the initial course of EECP were: female gender, heart failure, use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers, and use of nitroglycerin. For the Complete group, 83.4% had a reduction of at least one Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) class after their initial EECP course, vs. 21.7% in the Incomplete group (p < 0.001). After repeat treatment, 66.2% of the Incomplete group achieved at least one CCS class reduction vs. 69.4% of the Complete group (p = NS) undergoing retreatment. The independent predictors for those who return to successfully complete their second course were patients who stopped their first course because of clinical events, and candidacy for coronary artery bypass grafting at the time of initial treatment.

Conclusion: The results of retreatment of those who failed to complete their initial EECP course were comparable to those who completed their initial treatment, with similar reductions of CCS angina class.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angina Pectoris / therapy*
  • Counterpulsation / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retreatment
  • Treatment Outcome