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Am J Cardiol. 1986 Apr 15;57(11):976-83.

Intraaortic balloon pumping 1967 through 1982: analysis of complications in 733 patients.


Between June 1967 and December 1982, 872 attempts at intraaortic balloon pumping (IABP) were made in 733 patients. Nearly 75% of the patients were men; the proportion of women has increased in recent years. The principal indication for IABP support initially was cardiogenic shock, but over the years, preoperative support, weaning from cardiopulmonary bypass and unstable angina have become the primary indications. Complications of IABP were classified and distributed by severity (minor: I [15%] and II [26%]; major: III [3%] and IV [1%]) and type ([vascular [22%], infectious [22%], and bleeding [7%]). Vascular complication rates were higher in women (32 vs 18%; p = 0.0001), in diabetic patients (32 vs 20%, p = 0.003), and in hypertensive patients (27 vs 20%, p = 0.02). These did not vary with the duration of IABP support (range of duration 0 to 76 days). The rate of infectious complications was related to location where IABP was performed (coronary care unit 26%, operating room 12%). The rate of fever and bacteremia increased significantly with duration of IABP support, but the rate of local wound infection did not. In conclusion, most IABP complications are minor, resolve after balloon removal, are related to vascular status of the patient and, with the exception of bacteremia, are independent of IABP duration.

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