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עמוד בית
Fri, 24.05.24

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October 2006
E. Kaluski, Z. Gabara, N. Uriel, O. Milo, M. Leitman, J. Weisfogel, V. Danicek, Z. Vered and G. Cotter
 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


September 2005
E. Kaluski, N. Uriel, O. Milo and G. Cotter
 Although 40 years have passed since the advent of advanced cardiac life support, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest still carries an ultimate failure rate of 95%. This review reinforces the importance of public education, optimization of the local chain of survival, early bystander access and bystander basic life support, and early defibrillation. It emphasizes the role of simplified basic life support algorithms and demonstrates the low incremental benefit of complex skillful protocols employed in ACLS[1]. The impact of automatic external defibrillators and new medications incorporated into ACLS algorithms is evaluated in the light of contemporary research. The persistent, discouraging, low functional survival rate (less than 5% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims) mandates reassessment of current strategies and guidelines.

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[1] ACLS = advanced cardiac life support

 
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