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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2013 Jan;32(1):106-11. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2012.10.005.

Clinical outcome of mechanical circulatory support for refractory cardiogenic shock in the current era.

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Department of Surgery, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York 10032, USA.



Mortality for refractory cardiogenic shock (RCS) remains high. However, with improving mechanical circulatory support device (MCSD) technology, the treatment options for RCS patients are expanding. We report on a recent 5-year single-center experience with MCSD for treatment of RCS.


This study was a retrospective review of adult patients who required an MCSD due to RCS in the past 5 years. We excluded those patients with post-cardiotomy shock and post-transplant cardiac graft dysfunction. In the setting of RCS, a short-term ventricular assist device (VAD) was inserted as a bridge-to-decision device. Veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA ECMO) was chosen in cases of unknown neurologic status, complete hemodynamic collapse or severe coagulopathy.


From January 2007 through January 2012, 90 patients received an MCSD for RCS, 21 (23%) of whom had active cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The etiology of RCS included acute myocardial infarction in 49% and acute decompensated heart failure in 27%. Mean age was 53±14 years, 71% were male, and 60% had an intra-aortic balloon pump. The initial approach utilized was short-term VAD in 49% and VA ECMO in 51%. Median length of support was 8 days (IQR 4 to 18 days). Exchange to implantable VAD was performed in 26% of patients. Other destinations included myocardial recovery in 18% and heart transplantation in 11%. Survival to hospital discharge was 49%. Multivariate analysis showed ongoing CPR to be an independent risk factor for mortality (OR = 5.79, 95% CI 1.285 to 26.08, p = 0.022).


In the current era, roughly half of the patients who need an MCSD for RCS survive, and roughly half of these survivors require an implantable VAD. Ongoing CPR is predictive of in-hospital mortality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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