Enhanced external counterpulsation is a regenerative therapy

Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2010 Jan 1;2:111-21. doi: 10.2741/e72.


Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) is used for the treatment of severe angina and heart failure in patients who are not candidates for revascularization. The clinical benefits of EECP extend well beyond the time period of any hemodynamic effects, but the cause of this prolonged effect is not understood. The prolonged clinical benefits suggest EECP could be a regenerative therapy. This study was performed to determine whether EECP increased circulating hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) or endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and thus be a possible regenerative therapy. The proposed mechanism of the increase in regenerative circulating stem cells is the enhanced shear forces induced on the endothelial boundary by the flow reversal produced by the sequential inflation of the pneumatic cuffs during EECP therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angina Pectoris / therapy*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Counterpulsation / methods*
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Regenerative Medicine / methods