Have any of you ever heard of, and had experience with EECP? One of my clients says her doc wants her to have it...has info on it, but it's the glossy PR stuff. haven't yet goen to their webpage for that reason...stands for (Enhanced External CounterPulsation)


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she would be going in outpatient qmon-fri x4-7 weeks...with a 45 minute ride each way..assuming she can find family emmbers who can/will commit to providing tranportation...:rolleyes:

i have read some info..but am looking for anyone who has had experience with it..:confused: :confused: :confused:


255 Posts

I've only sort of heard about it. It's sort of a combination between MAST trousers and a balloon pump. The idea is that this inflatable suit (well... from the abdomen down, anyway) inflates rapidly during diastole to assist with coronary blood flow and then deflates just before systole to decrease afterload -- the same theory behind an IABP. As I understand it, it is only used on an outpatient basis.

This is only what I've heard. I don't have any experience with it personally, nor have I done any research.

Would it be used in conjunction with meds? What is this a treatment for?


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....coronary artery disease patients who are poor candidates for invasive procedures or unwilling to undergo them. At the same time, EECP provides non-interventional cardiologists a means of participating in the treatment of patients who have become refractory to drugs. ..........EECP® treatment uses unique equipment to inflate and deflate a series of pneumatic compressive cuffs around the lower extremities. Treatment is administered on a padded table where three sets of electronically controlled inflation and deflation valves are located. These valves are connected to specially designed adjustable cuffs that are wrapped firmly, but comfortably around the patient's calves, lower thighs, and upper thighs, including the buttocks. The design of the cuffs permits significant pressure to be applied to the arteries and veins at relatively low air pressures. Timing for inflation and deflation is regulated by running electrocardiogram signals through a microprocessor that monitors the treatment process.

While the heart is at rest the cuffs are inflated in rapid sequence from the calves upward, creating a pressure wave that increases diastolic pressure, coronary artery perfusion pressure, and blood flow to the heart muscle. This compression of the blood vessels in the legs also increases the volume of blood returned to the right side of the heart via the venous system. Instantaneous deflation of all cuffs at the onset of the heart's contraction lowers the resistance the heart must pump against, decreasing the heart's work load. This latter effect, when coupled with increased venous return, significantly raises cardiac output. The overall effect is to increase the oxygen supply of the heart, while decreasing its oxygen demand.

Significant obstruction in one or more coronary arteries can create a pressure difference between areas of the heart muscle that receive and those that do not receive enough blood. Repeated and pulsed increases in pressure during diastole may stimulate opening or formation of collateral channels across this pressure gradient within the heart muscle, resulting in increased blood supply to deprived tissues.

apparently it has just recently gained FDA approval for Tx of CHF also....

sounds interesting..but its a major time commitment to a cardiac patient...qdx4-7weeks...


255 Posts

Would it be used in conjunction with milrinone -- also used as an outpatient treatment for CHF?


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i really dont know anything about it..that's why i posted this thread..i am looking for people who have experience with it...


158 Posts

see my (short) post under CCU nursing


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Specializes in Pulmonary, Cath Lab, Float Pool.

We use EECP in our hospital. The patients do not like the "feel" of it, but they do like the results. When it works it increases their functional level. They become more active with less short of breath episodes and less to none chest pain with activity. The procedure lasts 1 hour. Mast type devices are used on the lower extremities. They inflate and deflate with each heart beat. The process literally jumps them up and down on the bed. You have to see it to believe it! Their heart rhythm and saturations are monitored during the procedure. They can watch TV and if they are really talented they can read a book. Again, the patients who it has worked on AEB less SOB and inc. activity swear by it. Of course it doesn't work for everyone.


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My dad actually had the eecp done. His program required him to have 1 hour treatments 5x's a week for 6 weeks. It has been over a year since the treatment was completed and he continues to have less frequent episodes of "stable" angina than before the treatment. Although the treatments were uncomfortable...the cuffs are inflated with such force it actually bounces your body off the table...he definitely admits it has helped him.

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