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India External Counter Pulsation Therapy (ECP)
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External Counter Pulsation (ECP) is a cardiac care therapy that provides relief from angina pectoris (severe chest pain) without surgery or medication. The ECP technique was pioneered in the U.S. in the 1950s, then developed, refined, and widely used in Asia while western physicians turned to a variety of surgical procedures. With the reintroduction of ECP to the U.S. in the 1980s, doctors and patients finally saw a low cost, low risk therapeutic alternative to surgical or chemical intervention.

ECP is a simple, non-invasive, non-pharmacological, low risk, painless therapy that can be provided to a patient at a fraction of the cost of surgical alternatives!

Clinical trials have confirmed the benefits of ECP treatment. They include: symptomatic relief of angina unresponsive to medical therapy, improved blood flow to deprived areas of heart muscle demonstrated by the results of thallium stress testing, elimination or reduction of nitrate use, improved ability to exercise.

In a 3-year, follow-up study, the majority of patients remained free of angina and showed persistent improvements in their thallium scans. Patients and their families usually report noticeably greater ability to engage in daily activity.

A computer interprets the patient's ECG and provides timing signals that control the sequential inflation and deflation of balloon pressure cuffs wrapped around the extensive vascular beds of the patient's calves, thighs, and buttocks. Each inflation cycle is timed to start and end during the resting phase of the patient's heartbeat (diastole).

As diastole begins, the cuffs inflate rapidly and sequentially from the calves to the buttocks, firmly compressing the patient's vasculature. This has two immediate effects: One, a strong retrograde "counter-pulse" occurs in the arterial system, forcing freshly oxygenated blood back toward the heart and the coronary arteries. And Two, an increased volume of venous blood is returned to the heart under increased pressure. The combined effect of these two events is to increase the oxygen supply and perfusion pressure in the myocardium (heart muscle) and to increase "pre-load" so the heart has a greater volume of blood to pump during the next systolic event.

Next, as the patient's heart nears the end of diastole and prepares for systole (ventricular contraction), the computer instructs the deflation valves to open with a vacuum which deflates the cuffs better and quicker and instantly. This action also provides therapeutic advantages by reducing the heart's after-load. Since the vascular beds in the lower extremities are essentially empty, the resistance to blood flow is markedly reduced, thereby decreasing the amount of work that the heart must do to pump blood to these areas (reducing oxygen demand within the myocardium).

As a result of these diastolic augmentation activities, the patient's peak diastolic pressure is significantly increased, benefiting circulation in the heart muscle and in other organs as well. At the same time, the patient's systolic pressure is reduced, to the general benefit of the vascular system.

Advantage for Patients - 35 hours of treatment cost as little as one-fourth to one-sixth the cost of invasive surgery…without any of the risk. Per-treatment costs may vary by office or region. In USA the procedure is eligible for reimbursement by Medicare, most private insurance, or direct billing by the physician. The patient does not have to give up work or other normal daily activities for a lengthy hospital stay and recuperation time.

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"Technology for treating cardiovascular disease is slowly moving from very invasive to less invasive methods. In the seventies, bypass surgery was the big news in the treatment of coronary artery disease. In the eighties, it was balloon angioplasty and in the nineties, it was the stent. Now, we can move still a step further to a totally non-invasive treatment with ECP."

The patient relaxes on a comfortably padded mattress while a trained nurse or therapist wraps the muscular areas of the patient's calves, thighs, and buttocks with pneumatic cuffs, similar to blood pressure cuffs. Hoses connect the cuffs to an air pressure/vacuum pump enclosed within the bed base. Next to the bed is the computer-controlled operator's console. Three ECG electrodes are fastened to the patient's chest so the computer can monitor his or her heart rate. A plethysmograph sensor is placed on the patient's finger to detect the ebb and surge of each pulse wave.

When patients have angina, their bodies are telling them that their heart is not receiving enough oxygen. A treatment, in harmony with patients heart, can improve circulation to the heart muscle. ECP treatment appears to stimulate the opening of new, natural pathways around narrowed or blocked arteries. After ECP treatment, patients may find that:

++ they can walk farther, carry heavier packages, and be more
     active without having angina.
++ they have fewer attacks of angina.
++ their episodes of angina are less intense.
++ they need less anti-anginal medication.
++ they can return to work, go out to dinner, garden, travel, or
     enjoy golf, tennis, or bowling once again.
++ they no longer restrict their social lives, volunteer activities, or
     exercise because they are worried that they will cause angina.

If patients are one of more than seven million people in the United States with angina, they may be all too familiar with angina. Angina signals that a part of the heart muscle is not receiving an adequate supply of blood and oxygen. The heart requires a particularly rich blood supply because of its heavy workload, and receives this nourishment through the coronary arteries. When these vessels are narrowed or blocked, restricting blood flow, they fail to supply adequate oxygen.

Then, while the patient relaxes and talks to visitors, watches TV or a video, listens to music, or even takes a nap, the operator starts the procedure and adjusts the machine during the hour-long procedure.

Studies conducted at numerous university medical centers and published in peer-reviewed medical journals have demonstrated benefits including:

++ elimination or decrease in exercise-induced signs of lack of
     oxygen to the heart muscle (ischemia).
++ increased exercise tolerance .
++ elimination or decrease in episodes of chest pain.
++ decrease in need for anti-anginal medication

Spectramed Systems is the demonstration centre and training centre for doctors for the External Counter Pulsation device used for treatment of stable Ischaemic Heart disease. Our centre in Ludhiana, Punjab and is professionally managed by medical doctors.

For Detailed Dossier on ECP, please write to us at

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