Navigate Up

UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Manager
Telephone: 412-647-9966
Patients and medical professionals may call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762) for more information.

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences 

University of Pittsburgh Study Shows EECP Improves Left Ventricular Function

PITTSBURGH, March 15, 2000 — Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP®) improves left ventricular function in heart failure patients, according to a study being presented by University of Pittsburgh researchers on Wednesday, March 15, at the 49th Scientific Sessions of the American College of Cardiologyin Anaheim, Ca.

The study, "Improvement in Left Ventricular Performance by Enhanced External Counterpulsation in Patients with Heart Failure," will be presented by John Gorcsan III, M.D., associate professor of medicine, Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of the Echocardiography Laboratories at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Cardiovascular Institute.

When undergoing EECP treatment, patients lie on a padded table equipped with inflation and deflation valves connected to specially designed cuffs applied to the lower extremities and buttocks. As the heart begins its resting phase, the cuffs are inflated sequentially from the calves toward the buttocks. Just before the heart pumps, the cuffs are simultaneously deflated. This sequence causes the heart muscle to receive an increased supply of blood, as well as reduce its workload and increase the amount of blood pumped.

The eight patients in the study had New York Heart Association Class II or III heart failure and a heart ejection fraction rate of less than 40 percent. The ejection fraction rate is the percentage of blood pumped from the heart on each beat and is a quantitative evaluation of how well the heart contracts. All patients in the study continued to receive their standard medical therapy. Following 35, one-hour sessions of EECP treatment over seven weeks, all of the patients showed significant increases in their left ventricular function and their ejection fraction. Patients also experienced a decrease in their heart rate.

"EECP appears to be beneficial to left ventricular function in heart failure patients and may be a useful adjunct to medical therapy," said Dr. Gorcsan.

According to the American Heart Association, there are 4.9 million patients in the United States with heart failure. With 400,000 new cases each year, heart failure is the single most frequent cause of hospitalization for people age 65 and older.

Vasomedical, Inc. is a healthcare company dedicated to providing superior solutions in the management of cardiovascular disease through products and procedures that make improved clinical and economic outcomes possible. The company is located at 108 Linden Ave., Westbury, NY, 11590.

For more information on University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Cardiovascular Institute please access http://cvi.upmc.com.

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com