Posted with permission of the original author, a 20 year clinical veteran of teaching and presenting EECP therapy to physicians, nurses and designated EECP therapists around the world:
I am an RN and Clinical Specialist for Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (EECP) Therapy. I’ve read several articles quoting focus group research in the Journal of Internal Medicine and studies in Lancet and JAMA. I have been a Clinical Specialist in cardiology for over 20 years and have realized that medicine, in the United States, has become a culture. I agree that a stent may be effective in the acute stage of a coronary event but that atherosclerosis, and heart disease go well beyond “discrete lesions” in coronary vessels. Atherosclerosis effects all of the vessels and blood flow to the microvasculature. Interventional Cardiologists are unable to treat these vessels in that they smaller than the wires used to track catheters and devices. Also, where there are blockages in the larger coronary vessels, there are surely many blockages at the microvasculature level. Opening circulation in larger coronary vessels does not ensure circulation to smaller vessels. Present tools to “treat” all of these smaller diseased vessels are diet, exercise, statins and EECP therapy. (Nitrates and Renexa treat symptoms)
Surgical procedures, catheterizations, and implanted devices are commonly used in cardiology without a consideration for EECP therapy. EECP, therapy a simple non-invasive therapy, is largely under utilized by the cardiology community. EECP is FDA cleared and CMS reimbursed for refractory angina. Angina, including its full range of symptoms (i.e. chest pain, atypical pain, fatigue, shortness of breath) refractory to medication and not amenable to surgical procedures has been shown to be eliminated or relieved in a large compendium of clinical studies and articles published in peer reviewed medical journals. With over two hundred and fifty clinical papers (including over ten thousand patients), two randomized, controlled, multi-center clinical trials, two independent patient registries (including eight thousand patients in one hundred EECP therapy treatment centers in the US & Europe). Participants in these studies and registries have included Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Columbia University, the University of New York at Stonybrook, the University of Florida at Gainesville, the University of California at San Francisco, Loyola University, Unfortunately, EECP therapy is only occasionally being utilized when applicable and only being offered to the sickest ischemic patients for which physicians have no options. With such excellent results one might question, "Should EECP be considered by the FDA for use earlier in the disease process?"
Registries have demonstrated long term effectiveness in published three year followup studies . When combined with diet and exercise, the effects may last much longer. EECP may also be considered a bridge to exercise post intervention, especially when angina symptoms still persist due to incomplete revascularizations or suspected microvascular disease. I have been educating EECP clinicans and therapists for over twenty years. I have been witness to the effectiveness of EECP therapy when provided by diligent, clinically educated therapists and with equipment that can provide adequate pressure and time precisely to the cardiac cycle. (Unfortunately in the field there are untrained clinicians and lower pressure, unproven devices). As is evidenced in numerous endothelial function papers, EECP therapy treats more than just the vessels of the myocardium, it creates blood flow throughout the body's vascular system.
For more information, please visit the International EECP Society website (www.ieecps.org) and the www.EECP.com website.
IEECPS – The Official Web Site for EECP/ECP Therapy Internationally
Clinical Specialist for EECP Speaks Out
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