Background: Comorbid aortic stenosis (AS) has been considered a precaution when applying enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) to individuals with angina due to concerns about treatment-related hemodynamic changes.
Hypothesis: The aim of this study was to determine whether EECP safely reduces symptoms of myocardial ischemia and improves hemodynamics in individuals with AS.
Methods: Forty-three patients with AS (average age, 73 years; 86% male) and 43 comparison patients without AS were chosen from a database of 1327 EECP patients. Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) Functional Angina Classification, diastolic augmentation ratio, and blood pressure were measured at baseline and on completion of the course of EECP.
Results: Thirty-five of the 43 patients with AS (81%, 95% CI: 66.6% to 91.6%) and 38 of the 43 without AS (88%, 95% CI: 74.9% to 96.1%) improved in angina class (P < 0.0001). There was no statistical difference between the percentages in patients with and without AS (P = 0.54). CCS angina class outcome was not associated with AS severity (P = 0.55). The percentage of patients with diastolic augmentation ratio ≥1.0 was 16.3% in both groups at baseline and improved to 39.5% in AS patients and 37.2% in non-AS patients after EECP (both P = 0.002). The average decreases in systolic blood pressure in subjects with AS (-15 mm Hg, 95% CI: 11 to 20, P < 0.0001) and without AS (-18 mm Hg, 95% CI: 14 to 22, P < 0.0001) were similar (P = 0.31). No major adverse cardiac events were reported.
Conclusions: Angina patients with AS who undergo EECP had clinically important symptomatic and hemodynamic improvements comparable to their non-AS counterparts.
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.