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Chest. 2019 Jul 30. pii: S0012-3692(19)31383-2. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2019.07.009. [Epub ahead of print]

Mechanical Circulatory Support for Cardiogenic Shock in the Critically Ill.

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University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester.
Division of Cardiac Surgery, UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, MA. Electronic address:


Patients requiring mechanical circulatory support (MCS) constitute a heterogeneous group whose needs have guided the development of a broad range of MCS devices. Appropriate patient and device selection are important for maximizing the potential benefit of these therapies. Currently available devices can be deployed percutaneously or surgically implanted. They can also be configured for left, right, or biventricular support and remain in place for hours to years, offering varying levels of flow. In the critical care setting, patients with the highest acuity have the worst outcomes when receiving an implantable long-term ventricular assist device (VAD); therefore, shorter-term devices should be considered for stabilization and optimization prior to implantation of a long-term device. In this focused review for the critical care clinician, we discuss important considerations for identifying VAD candidates, identifying the range of devices available to support them, bridging strategies that may improve outcomes for patients who are critically ill, and identifying areas of ongoing research.


critical care/shock; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; heart failure; intraaortic balloon pump; ventricular assist device

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