EECP (Enhanced External Counter Pulsation)

What is EECP?

Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (EECP) is performed as a non-invasive treatment to lower the number and intensity of angina episodes. Treatment is administered through three pairs of external inflatable cuffs that are applied around the lower legs, upper legs and buttocks. These cuffs continuously inflate and deflate between the resting period of the heartbeat and increase blood returned to the heart.

The basic principle of EECP treatment involves increasing the amount of blood returning to the heart, which helps supply more oxygen to its starved areas. With more oxygen available, the heart can function much more efficiently and therefore reduce chest pain.

Candidates for EECP Treatment?

Individuals are eligible for treatment if they have been diagnosed with disabling stable angina (Class III or IV Canadian Cardiovascular Society or equivalent classification), who in the opinion of a cardiologist or cardiothoracic surgeon, are not readily amenable to surgical intervention because:

  • Their condition is inoperable, or at high risk of operative complications or postoperative failure;
  • Their coronary anatomy is not readily amenable to such procedures; or
  • They have co-morbid states, which create excessive risk.

Benefits of EECP Treatment

  • Increased oxygen supply for the heart
  • Decrease in chest pain
  • Improved EKG response to exercise
  • Decrease in nitroglycerin use
  • Increase in energy
  • Increased exercise duration
  • Long term effects up to 2 years