Objective: Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) is a noninvasive treatment that is proven safe and effective in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and heart failure (HF). The aims of this study are to investigate the clinical effects of EECP therapy in patients with symptomatic CAD and chronic HF, and to find out an answer to the question: Does EECP therapy have any effect on the prognostic markers of HF?
Methods: This study was designed as a prospective cohort study. A total of 68 consecutive patients with symptomatic CAD and chronic HF referred to EECP therapy were enrolled in this study between November 2007 and December 2010; 47 patients (39 males and 8 females, 65 ± 7, years), have undergone EECP treatment, and 21 patients (20 males and 1 female, 62 ± 10 years), who did not want to participate in the EECP program comprised the control group. Statistical analysis was performed using t tests for dependent and independent samples, Mann-Whitney U test, Chi-square and Fischer exact tests.
Results: EECP therapy resulted in significant Improvement in post-intervention New York Heart Association functional class (p<0.001), left ventricular ejection fraction (p<0.001), B-type natriuretic peptide levels (p<0.003), uric acid levels (p<0.05), free-T3/free-T4 ratio (p<0.034) and mitral annular E (p<0.05) velocity, compared with baseline, a finding not evident in the control group.
Conclusion: EECP treatment significantly improved clinical and some biochemical parameters, which are mostly prognostic markers in patients with symptomatic CAD and chronic HF.