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עמוד בית
Sat, 20.04.24

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume

Journal 10, October 2006
pages: 687-690

The Benefits and Safety of External Counter-Pulsation in Symptomatic Heart Failure

    Summary

     Background: External counter-pulsation is a safe and effective method of alleviating angina pectoris, but the mechanism of benefit is not understood.

    Objectives: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of external counter-pulsation therapy in heart failure patients.

    Methods: Fifteen symptomatic heart failure patients (subsequent to optimal medical and device therapy) underwent 35 hourly sessions of ECPT[1] over a 7 week period. Before and after each ECPT session we performed pro-B-type natriuretic peptide and brachial artery function studies, administered a quality of life questionnaire, and assessed exercise tolerance and functional class.

    Results: Baseline left ventricular ejection fraction was 28.1 ± 5.8%. ECPT was safe and well tolerated and resulted in a reduction in pro-BNP[2] levels (from 2245 ± 2149 pcg/ml to 1558 ± 1206 pcg/ml, P = 0.022). Exercise duration (Naughton protocol) improved (from 720 ± 389 to 893 ± 436 seconds, P = 0.0001), along with functional class (2.63 ± 0.6 vs. 1.93 ± 0.7, P = 0.023) and quality of life scores (54 ± 22 vs. 67 ± 23, P = 0.001). Nitroglycerine-mediated brachial vasodilatation increased (11.5 ± 7.3% vs. 15.6 ± 5.2%, P =0.049), as did brachial flow-mediated dilation (8.35 ± 6.0% vs. 11.37 ± 4.9%, P = 0.09).

    Conclusions: ECPT is safe for symptomatic heart failure patients and is associated with functional and neurohormonal improvement. Larger long-term randomized studies with a control arm are needed to confirm these initial encouraging observations.

     

    [1] ECPT = external counter-pulsation therapy
    [2] BNP = B-type natriuretic peptide

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