Intraaortic Balloon Pump Counterpulsation

  • John Parker Gott


Intraaortic balloon pump (IABP) counterpulsation is most frequently used in patients undergoing cardiac operation to increase the likelihood of success in the face of marginal hemodynamics or frank circulatory failure. Balloon counterpulsation is a two-edged sword, however, with the potential for great therapeutic benefit as well as significant morbidity. While clearly efficacious, as evidenced by its low therapeutic index, the IABP must be clearly and compellingly indicated, and impeccable placement technique is crucial, particularly in those patients known to be at increased risk for IABP-related complications. Successful strategies to increase the margin of safety for balloon counterpulsation continue to evolve, and the balloon pump should retain, for the foreseeable future, a vital intermediary position in the therapeutic armamentarium for postcardiotomy pump failure. When pharmacologic measures are not sufficient, and total mechanical support is neither necessary nor feasible, the balloon pump may be lifesaving.


Cardiogenic Shock Coronary Blood Flow Mechanical Circulatory Support Intraaortic Balloon Intraaortic Balloon Pump 
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  • John Parker Gott

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