Angina treatment at The Christ Hospital Health Network

At The Christ Hospital Health Network, our cardiologists have extensive experience in identifying and treating angina. Our patients benefit from the latest, most advanced angina screenings and treatments, such as enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP).

Your physician can diagnose angina using one or more of the following methods:

 

  • Blood cholesterol profile

  • Coronary angiography

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)

  • Heart Computed Tomography (CT) scan

  • Stress test

  • Nuclear medicine stress test

  • Stress echocardiogram 

Treating angina with enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP)

The Christ Hospital Health Network offers a new, noninvasive treatment for angina called enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP). EECP, which is used to treat coronary artery disease and heart failure, has been shown to help manage angina, fatigue and shortness of breath.

It has been shown to benefit angina patients who are not eligible for more traditional therapies, such as coronary artery bypass surgery and percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA). EECP has many benefits:

  • 75 to 80 percent success rate

  • Reduces or eliminates angina

  • Noninvasive, outpatient treatment

  • Increases energy

  • Improves stamina

  • Reduces the need for some medications

  • Improves quality of life and outlook

  • Increases daily activity capabilities with minimal or no heart disease symptoms

  • Covered by most insurance providers, including Medicare 

Who is a candidate for enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP)?

EECP may be an option for you if your doctor does not recommend other treatments, such as coronary artery bypass surgery and coronary angioplasty. EECP has been shown to improve symptoms and exercise tolerance in 70 percent of selected patients.

You may be a candidate for EECP if:

  • Your quality of life is limited by frequently recurring chest discomfort or other symptoms caused by blockage, such as breathlessness with exertion.

  • Attempts to control symptoms with medical therapy have been unsuccessful.

EECP may also be beneficial for treating heart failure, but more research is needed. 

How does EECP work?

EECP consists of a system of cuffs (similar to blood pressure cuffs) that are placed on the calves, thighs and hips. The cuffs are timed to the heartbeat using a heart monitor, inflating with air when the heart relaxes and deflating when the heart pumps.

EECP is done for one hour at a time, five times a week, for a seven-week treatment period. It is a safe, outpatient treatment and is currently covered by most health insurance plans, including Medicare.

Doctors believe EECP helps treat angina because it promotes collateral circulation, a "natural" bypass that the circulatory system is able to "grow" around areas of blockage.

Ask your physician if EECP is an option for you or call The Christ Hospital Physicians-Ohio Heart & Vascular at 513-792-7826 to learn more about our angina treatment program.