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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2018 Jan;37(1):100-106. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2017.09.020. Epub 2017 Sep 30.

Use of a percutaneous temporary circulatory support device as a bridge to decision during acute decompensation of advanced heart failure.

Author information

Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas. Electronic address:
Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.
Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute, Dallas, Texas.
Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, Dallas, Texas.
The Acute Mechanical Support Working Group at The Cardiovascular Center, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.



Prognosis is poor for patients with decompensated advanced heart failure (HF) refractory to medical therapy. Evaluating candidacy for durable mechanical circulatory support (MCS), cardiac transplantation, or palliative care is complex, and time is often needed to stabilize the patient hemodynamically. The Impella 5.0 (Abiomed, Danvers, MA) is a minimally invasive axial-flow catheter capable of providing full temporary hemodynamic support. We report a multicenter series on the use of this device for bridge to decision (BTD) in decompensated advanced HF patients.


In a retrospective evaluation at 3 centers of patients with advanced HF who acutely decompensated and received the Impella 5.0 for BTD, we analyzed demographics, procedural characteristics, in-hospital and intermediate-term outcomes, and in-hospital complications.


There were 58 patients who met inclusion criteria from 2010 to 2015. All were inotrope dependent. The mean ejection fraction was 13%, and median age was 59 years (interquartile range, 48-64 years). Mean duration of support was 7 days (range, 0-22 days). Thirty-nine patients survived to next therapy (67%), with most receiving durable MCS (n = 20) or heart transplantation (n = 15). In-hospital complications included bleeding (n = 9) and hemolysis (n = 4). Of patients who survived to the next therapy, 1-year survival was 65% for those who received durable MCS, 87% for those who received a transplant, and 75% for those who were stabilized and weaned.


The Impella 5.0 may provide a BTD strategy for patients with advanced HF and acute hemodynamic instability. Prospective studies are needed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of this device in this patient population.


Impella; acute decompensated heart failure; advanced heart failure; bridge to decision; cardiogenic shock; temporary circulatory support

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