Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for Coronary Artery Disease: Relationship of Symptom Amelioration and Ischemia Improvement

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Cardiology, Fujita Health University School of Medicine, 1-98 Dengakugakubo Kutsukake-cho Toyoake, Japan

2 Department of Cardiology, Fujita Health University School of Medicine

3 Department of Radiology, Fujita Health University


Objective(s): The current management of coronary artery disease (CAD) relies on three major therapeutic options, namely medication, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). However, severe CAD that is not indicated for PCI or CABG still bears a poor prognosis due to the lack of effective treatments. In 2006, extracorporeal cardiac shock wave (SW) therapy reported on human for the first time. This treatment resulted in better myocardial perfusion as evaluated by dipyridamole stress thallium scintigraphy, angina symptoms, and exercise tolerance. The aim of the present study was to investigate myocardial perfusion images and evaluate the relationship between the ischemia improvement and symptom amelioration by SW therapy. Methods: We treated ten patients (i.e., nine males and one female) with cardiac SW therapy who had CAD but not indicated for PCI or CABG and aged 63–89 years old. After the SW therapy, all patients were followed up for three months to evaluate any amelioration of the myocardial ischemia based on symptoms, adenosine stress thallium scintigraphy, transthoracic echocardiography, and blood biochemical examinations. Results: The changes in various parameters were evaluated before and after cardiac SW therapy. The cardiac SW therapy resulted in a significant improvement in the symptoms as evaluated by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society [CCS] class score (P=0.016) and a tendency to improve in summed stress score (SSS) (P=0.068). However, no significant improvement was observed in the summed rest score (SRS), summed difference score (SDS), left ventricular wall motion score index (LVWMSI), N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic, and troponin I. The difference of CCS class score (ΔCCS) was significantly correlated with those of SSS (ΔSSS) and SDS (ΔSDS) (r=0.69, P=0.028 and r=0.70, P=0.025, respectively). There was no significant correlation between ΔCCS and other parameters. Furthermore, no significant difference was observed between the CCS improved and non-improved groups in terms of the baseline characteristics. Conclusion: The current study demonstrated the potential efficacy and safety of Cardiac SW therapy in CAD patients. As the findings indicated, symptom amelioration was associated with ischemia improvement by extracorporeal shock wave therapy for the CAD patients.


Main Subjects


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