Objective To examine if the skin microvascular bed is altered and can be modified by enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) in patients with chronic refractory angina. Methods Twenty patients diagnosed with refractory angina were divided into EECP (n = 10) or no EECP (n = 10) groups. The data were compared to matched healthy subjects (n = 20). The cutaneous forearm microvascular blood flow was measured by Laser-Doppler flowmetry. The vascular responsiveness to iontophoretic administration of acetylcholine (ACh), sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and local skin warming were studied. Measurements of Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS)-class, blood pressure and plasma samples were registered. Results EECP patients showed reduced CCS-class compared to no EECP (P P P P Conclusions Refractory angina patients have reduced responsiveness in their cutaneous microcirculation to ACh, SNP and heat compared to healthy subjects. Although EECP reduced the CCS-class, this effect was not associated with improvements in responsiveness of the cutaneous microcirculation.