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Semin Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2015 Jun;19(2):106-21. doi: 10.1177/1089253214555026. Epub 2014 Oct 27.

Management of intra-aortic balloon pumps.

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Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.
University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA


Intra-aortic balloon pumps (IABPs) continue to be the most widely used cardiac support devices with an annual estimate of 200 000 IABPs placed worldwide. IABPs enhance myocardial function by maximizing oxygen supply and minimizing oxygen demand. The use of IABPs is not without risk, with major vascular injury, ischemia, and infection being the most common complications, especially in high-risk patients. While recent studies have questioned the use of IABPs in patients with cardiogenic shock secondary to myocardial infarction, these studies have limitations making it difficult to formulate definitive conclusions. This review will focus on the mechanisms of counterpulsation, the management of IABPs and the evidence supporting this ventricular support therapy.


Intra-aortic balloon pump; cardiac assist devices; cardiogenic shock; counterpulsation; intra-aortic balloon pumps in the intensive care unit; troubleshooting intra-aortic balloon pumps

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