The efficacy and safety of enhanced external counterpulsation in patients with peripheral arterial disease

Bhavik V. Thakkar, Alan T. Hirsch, Daniel Satran, Bradley A Bart, Gregory Barsness, Peter A. McCullough, Elizabeth D. Kennard, Sheryl F. Kelsey, Timothy D Henry

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15 Scopus citations


Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is common in patients with severe coronary artery disease (CAD) and is considered a relative contraindication to external enhanced counterpulsation (EECP), but there are no data that define the efficacy and safety of EECP in patients with PAD. The International EECP Patient Registry (IEPR) was used to compare initial post-therapy and 2-year follow-up clinical outcomes and adverse event rates in patients with and without PAD. From January 2002 to October 2004, 2126 patients were enrolled in the IEPR, of whom 493 (23%) had a history of PAD. Immediately following EECP, the reduction in angina (≥1 Canadian Cardiovascular Society class) was similar in patients with and without PAD (76.6% vs 79.0%, p = 0.27) as was improvement in the Duke Activity Score Index (DASI) score (+4.7% vs +6.1%, p < 0.001). Both angina reduction and DASI score improvement were sustained at 2 years. PAD patients discontinued EECP more frequently (12.0% vs 8.5%, p < 0.05), but lower extremity ulceration did not occur more frequently in patients with PAD (3.7% vs 2.7%, p = 0.26). Rates of death (17.1% vs 8.6%, p < 0.001) and myocardial infarction (9.5% vs 5.0%, p < 0.001) were, as expected, higher in patients with PAD compared to patients without PAD at 2 years. In conclusion, while PAD patients constitute a high-risk cohort with known higher adverse event rates, EECP led to similar short- and long-term improvements in angina and quality of life for individuals with PAD compared to those without PAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalVascular Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Coronary disease
  • Treatment outcome


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