Exercise capability and myocardial perfusion in chronic angina patients treated with enhanced external counterpulsation

Joseph Tartaglia, J. Stenerson, R. Charney, S. Ramasamy, B. L. Fleishman, P. Gerardi, J. C.K. Hui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background: Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) has been shown to improve treadmill times and myocardial perfusion. However, improvement in perfusion defects has been demonstrated only in patients exercised to the same cardiac workload on the post-EECP as the pre-EECP stress test. Hypothesis: This study was to determine the effect of EECP on exercise capacity and myocardial perfusion by comparing results of maximal exercise radionuclide testing pre- and post-EECP treatment. Methods: This prospective study included 25 patients with angina who had performed maximal symptom-limited exercise tolerance tests (ETT) with Bruce protocol and radionuclide perfusion single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) study prior to and at completion of EECP treatment. Results: After 35 h of EECP, 23 patients (93%) improved by at least one functional angina class. There is a significant improvement in their total treadmill times (357 ± 93 to 449 ± 97 s, p < 0.001). There was a significant change in their peak double products, from 18,891 ± 3,939 pre-EECP to 20,464 ± 4,305 post-EECP ETT (p < 0.03). Pre EECP, 16 patients had ST-segment depression on their initial ETT. After EECP, 13 of these patients (80%) either no longer had ST depression or had a significant increase in their time to ST depression (229 ± 52 to 315 ± 60 s, p < 0.001). The radionuclide perfusion scores also showed a significant reduction in ischemic segments (16.36 ± 10.52 to 14 ± 10.9, p < 0.05). Conclusion: Patients treated with EECP demonstrated a reduction in angina symptoms, improvement in exercise capacity, increase in time to ST-segment depression, and decrease in perfusion defects despite performing at a higher workload.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-290
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Angina
  • External counterpulsation
  • Radionuclide perfusion
  • ST depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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