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British Heart Foundation
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Has anybody had enhanced external counterpulsation for their unstable angina? I have microvascular angina which is refractory in nature. I really feel that I may benefit from this but I'm struggling to get any info. My GP has never heard of it, he suggested contacting my cardiologist but I was discharged by him last year after he referred me to pain clinic. If he knew of it I'm sure he would have suggested it.

Any information would be a great help

Many thanks

2 Replies

Hello there - admittedly I hadn't heard of this either, so thanks for introducing me to something new to learn about :) it's very interesting!

I've found some information here that might be useful for you: my.clevelandclinic.org/heal...

It's also useful to know that you can refer yourself back to your consultant via his secretary if you need another review. They usually list these numbers on the hospital's website, or you can go via their switchboard.

Hope this helps,



Hi there,

Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) is a procedure to help treat angina symptoms. The procedure involves having a set of cuffs wrapped around the legs, which are timed to inflate and deflate. The theory is that EECP treatment compresses the blood vessels in the lower limbs in order to increase blood flow to your heart. Some years ago EECP was considered as a treatment for some people who had persistent angina symptoms - despite being on maximum medication - and were unable to have stenting or bypass.

However the National Institute for Clinical Effectiveness (NICE) currently states that the evidence for the effectiveness of EECP is weak. Therefore generally speaking it’s no longer recommended in the UK as a treatment for stable angina.

That said, because you have microvascular angina, the situation for you may be different. Would your GP refer you back to the cardiologist? Then you could chat about the situation with them and they can discuss the options with you.

Best wishes, June


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