ECP stands for External Counter Pulsation, a non-invasive procedure approved by the US FDA that can reduce or eliminate symptoms of angina pectoris, acute myocardial infarction, cardiogenic shock and congestive heart failure (CHF). ECP therapy creates new pathways around blocked arteries in the heart by expanding networks of tiny auxiliary blood vessels, thereby increasing the amount of blood flowing to the heart muscle. ECP therapy is clinically tested and proven an outpatient alternative procedure to standard surgical interventions, namely balloon angioplasty (PTCA) and bypass surgery (CABG).
HOW DOES ECP WORK?
The ECP system inflates and deflates a series of compression cuffs wrapped around the patient’s calves, lower thighs and upper thighs. A computer is programmed to inflate and deflate these cuffs according to the patient’s heart rhythm, timed by a built-in electrocardiogram system. In early diastole, these cuffs inflate in a distal to proximal sequence to direct milk blood out of the lower extremities. At the end diastole the pressure is released from all the cuffs simultaneously allowing a normal heart beat. The effects produced with the intermittent compression are increased diastolic pressure and retrograde aortic flow; increased venous return; systolic unloading which results in increased cardiac output and coronary perfusion.
The latest research on ECP is focused on the effect of ECP on morphological and functional changes of the vessel endothelium by Prof. Zheng Zhen-sheng in the Sun Yat-sen University in China. In experiments and calculations, it has been observed that the shear stress will reach peak value during the counterpulsation, which can limit antherosclerotic plaque formation, restore endothelial function as well as improving pathological coronary vascular remodeling.
CLINICAL BENEFITS OF ECP THERAPY-
ECP has been tested in multi-center, controlled, clinical studies, with positive medical results and a demonstrated quality of life improvement. Years of research and clinical practice provide detailed support of patient benefits such as:
•ECP treatment is updated by The ACC/AHA 2002 Guideline on chronic stable angina. ECP treatment is generally determined as well tolerated and efficacious to improve chronic stable angina symptoms. Specifically, ECP treatment as a therapeutic option for patients with drug-refractory angina who are not candidates for other forms of therapy, specifically coronary artery interventions (PTCA with or without stenting) and surgical revascularization (CABG).
•Angina class at 3 or 4 grades improve one or two classes (statistic by IEPR*) after ECP treatment. (*IEPR: International ECP Patient Registry is a study which enrolls patients who are undergoing ECP for treatment of angina pectoris.)
•Therapy and prevent restenosis after PTCA procedures.
•Therapy and prevent senile dementia and cerebral stroke sequel.
•Increased exercise tolerance.
•Significant improvement in quality of life.
•Increase myocardial perfusion and grows collaterals “Natural Bypass”.
•Increase the vessel endothelium shear stress, limit atherosclerotic plaque formation, restore endothelial function, as well as improve pathological coronary vascular remodeling.
•Decrease the need for anti-anginal medication.
ADVANTAGES OF ECP THERAPY OVER OTHER OPTIONS
•ECP is the only non-invasive treatment for coronary artery stenosis.
•ECP is performed on an outpatient treatment.
•ECP is safe, painless, comfortable and no side effect treatment.
•Costly effective treatment with on 1/5 of the