History of EECP
In the 1950s at Harvard University, the first counter-pulsation technology with water hydraulics was created. Soon thereafter, scientists and engineers in China collaborated with Americans to create what we know today as Enhanced External Counterpulsation or EECP. The term Enhanced External Counterpulsation was coined in the 1990’s by Dr. John Hui, a founder of Vasomedical, and his collaborators to describe an improved, proprietary technology for better ECP therapy.
Initial technology was developed to address chronic stable angina pectoris. Several clinical trials were conducted and worldwide, scientists, researchers and academicians have complete studies featuring EECP on a variety of clinical diagnoses.
The EECP Historical Timeline
The EECP legacy is born. Harken & Associates along with Dr. Clifford Birtwell develop counterpulsation techniques at Harvard University in the late 1950’s.
Several scientists evolved counterpulsation to a noninvasive technique using a primitive external device that applied pressure generated by a hydraulic system. Studies with early non-invasive machines demonstrated the potential to increase survival in patients with myocardial infarction, cardiogenic shock and angina pectoris. Pneumatic devices soon replaced the cumbersome hydraulic machines.
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health suggested enhanced results due to the sequential pulsation of blood from the extremities rather than the non-sequenced pulsation being used by hydraulic machines.
Zheng and colleagues at Sun Yat Sen University in China reported studies with a newly designed sequenced pulsation system using four sets of compression bladders on the patient’s legs, buttocks and arms. In these trials, effects of the sequenced system were studied in patients with angina pectoris and acute myocardial infarction. In more than 90..Read More
The U.S. FDA approved EECP for treatment of cardiogenic shock and myocardial infarction (heart attack).
Dr. John Hui,works with Dr. Clifford Birtwell, the inventor of the concept of counter-pulsation. He is the last Fellow of Dr. Birtwell. Dr. Zheng and his colleagues at Sun Yat Sen University in China report their studies of a newly designed sequenced pulsation system using four sets of compression bladders on patient’s calves, thighs, buttocks..Read More
China began developing extensive technological advancements with EECP and continues to make positive strides.
Researchers from the State University of New York at Stony Brook determined that enhanced external counterpulsation continued to show helpful effects on patients even three years after treatment.
New discoveries about the power of EECP become more prevalent as researchers from the State University of New York at Stony Brook determine that the EECP MC2 device shows beneficial effects on patients even three years post treatment. Researchers continue to prove the efficacy of EECP using the MC2 device as a non-surgical disease treatment.
The first paper describing the modern era of EECP is published by Dr’s. Lawson, Soroff, Zheng and Hui using the term EECP. It marks the first instance the MC2 device is identified to describe the enhanced features of external counter-pulsation exclusively manufactured and trademarked by Vasomedical. This event precedes the publication of over 190 articles,..Read More
FDA clears use of EECP through the MC2 device for treatment of angina pectoris. In a quest to save lives, Sara Soulati begins her professional relationship with Dr. Hui which would ultimately span 21 years. She becomes an EECP Therapist at EECP West in Newport Beach California using the Vasomedical designed MC2 device.
The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) denied Vasomedical, Inc.’s, manufacturer of EECP technology, application to approve EECP for angina. The given reason was that HCFA required a double-blind clinical study and publication of research in peer-review journals.
Sara Soulati began to study EECP for cardiovascular disease reversal and prevention as well as the effect of EECP on elite athletes.
Sara Soulati leaves EECP West to work with the US Track and Field US Olympic 100 and 200 running teams to conduct studies on the effects of EECP relative to speed, recovery and exercise duration. The results are astounding, showing beneficial increase in athletic performance from just a single EECP therapy session.
Sara works with the Cardiomedics ECP device revealing the quality difference between differing manufacturers as it pertains to clinical results comparing Vasomedical’s MC2 and Cardiomedic’s ECP devices.
As a result of her work in the athletic field, Sara is hired by Vasomedical to market the EECP MC2 devices. She sells the first EECP MC2 device in the state of CA to the Pritikin Wellness Center in Santa Monica CA.
Vasomedical presented to HCFA results of its Multicenter Study of EECP (MUST Trial) featuring seven medical centers and 139 patients in a double-blind study relating to Class I, II and III angina. HCFA’s Grant Bagley, MD, director of HCFA Coverage and Analysis, again denied coverage stating results of the MUST Trial needed to be published..Read More
After CMS failed to approve EECP for angina again, Wallace Haselton, a former member of Vasomedical’s board of directors, went head-to-head with HCFA to secure coverage of EECP for angina. He called Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), and together they petitioned the Senate Finance Committee, regulators, legislators and anyone they could enlist to help change the..Read More
(five years after the FDA), Grant Bagley, MD, finally approved EECP for reimbursement, BUT only for these advanced conditions: Canadian Class III or class IV angina (FDA approval is for Canadian Class I, II, III, IV angina) A person’s condition is inoperable or at high risk of operative complications or post-operative failure. A person’s coronary..Read More
HCFA changed all references of EECP to ECP in written materials. These coverage guidelines issued by HCFA went unchallenged by the medical industry or manufacturers of EECP technology. These limited coverage guidelines remain in force today.
Sara Soulati continues her work in the athletic field with the Arena Football League franchise L.A. Avengers to further her sport studies for EECP treatment of exercise fatigue and traumatic sports injuries. Sara sells devices for Nicor Machines (they are now called Renew Inc.)
The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued guidelines on treating angina stating that more studies are required on EECP before it can be recommended as a standard treatment for angina. So far, EECP has not been widely accepted in clinical practice.
The FDA approved EECP for treatment of congestive heart failure.
Vasomedical ceases manufacturing of the MC2 device and begins producing the TS3 and TS4 device. She travels to China to meet Dr. Zheng and his colleagues at Sun Yat Sen University where she is introduced to Vamed, the manufactures of the MC2 device. She then launches the largest out patient EECP facility in West L.A...Read More
Several studies also found that EECP shows some benefit for patients with stabilized heart failure.
Vasomedical released results of its Prospective Evaluation of Enhanced External Counterpulsation in Congestive Heart Failure (PEECH) study for congestive heart failure and published results in a peer-review journal. This study found that patients with mid- to moderate-severe heart failure experienced an improvement in their New York Heart Association (NYHA) class after counterpulsation. However, the long-term..Read More
CMS denied the request by Vasomedical to approve Medicaid reimbursement of EECP for congestive heart failure, advanced stages of angina, cardiogenic shock or coronary artery disease.
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