The multicenter study of enhanced external counterpulsation (MUST-EECP): effect of EECP on exercise-induced myocardial ischemia and anginal episodes.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to assess safety and efficacy of enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP). BACKGROUND: Case series have shown that EECP can improve exercise tolerance, symptoms and myocardial perfusion in stable angina pectoris. METHODS: A multicenter, prospective, randomized, blinded, controlled trial was conducted in seven university hospitals in 139 outpatients with angina, documented coronary artery disease (CAD) and positive exercise treadmill test. Patients were given 35 h of active counterpulsation (active CP) or inactive counterpulsation (inactive CP) over a four- to seven-week period. Outcome measures were exercise duration and time to > or =1-mm ST-segment depression, average daily anginal attack count and nitroglycerin usage. RESULTS: Exercise duration increased in both groups, but the between-group difference was not significant (p > 0.3). Time to > or =1-mm ST-segment depression increased significantly from baseline in active CP compared with inactive CP (p = 0.01). More active-CP patients saw a decrease and fewer experienced an increase in angina episodes as compared with inactive-CP patients (p < 0.05). Nitroglycerin usage decreased in active CP but did not change in the inactive-CP group. The between-group difference was not significant (p > 0.7). CONCLUSIONS: Enhanced external counterpulsation reduces angina and extends time to exercise-induced ischemia in patients with symptomatic CAD. Treatment was relatively well tolerated and free of limiting side effects in most patients.
Arora, RR; Chou, TM; Jain, D; Fleishman, B; Crawford, L; McKiernan, T; Nesto, RW
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