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Cardiac Shock Wave Therapy Improves Angina Symptoms

Ischemic threshold and QoL also improved in patients with chronic refractory angina pectoris

FRIDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiac shock wave therapy (CSWT) can significantly improve symptoms, ischemic threshold during exercise, and specific quality-of-life parameters for patients with chronic refractory angina pectoris, according to a study published online March 23 in Cardiovascular Therapeutics.

To investigate whether CSWT can relieve the symptoms of chronic refractory angina pectoris, Jean-Paul Schmid, M.D., of the Bern University Hospital in Switzerland, and colleagues conducted a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study involving 21 patients with chronic refractory angina pectoris and evidence of inducible myocardial ischemia during MIBI single-photon emission computed tomography imaging. Eleven patients received nine sessions of CSWT (200 shots/spot, energy intensity of 0.09 mJ/mm²) over three months, and 10 controls received an acoustic simulation without energy application.

The researchers found that nine of 11 CSWT-treated patients experienced statistically significant symptom improvement, measured by cardiopulmonary exercise stress testing, compared with two of 10 placebo-treated patients. Physical functioning, general health perception, and vitality items on the Short Form-36 questionnaire were significantly improved in CSWT-treated patients, compared with no improvement in placebo-treated patients.

"This prospective, randomized study shows that CWST reduces clinical symptoms and objective signs of myocardial ischemia. CSWT therefore emerges as a new non-invasive technique for treatment of refractory angina pectoris in patients with advanced coronary artery disease," the authors write.

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