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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1985 Mar;5(3):711-6.

Intraaortic balloon counterpulsation as a temporary support measure in decompensated critical aortic stenosis.


Intraaortic balloon counterpulsation was instituted in two adult patients whose condition was rapidly deteriorating because of critical decompensated valvular aortic stenosis. The acute hemodynamic effect of counterpulsation in these patients was compared with the effect of counterpulsation in three control patients with unstable angina and no aortic valve disease. Augmentation of aortic diastolic pressure was similar in both groups; however, in contrast to the patients with unstable angina, the patients with aortic stenosis had no decrease in left ventricular systolic pressure. Counterpulsation resulted in an increase in the transvalvular pressure gradient, which was associated with a slight increase in stroke volume. In both patients with aortic stenosis, the institution of counterpulsation resulted in marked clinical improvement, which facilitated successful valve replacement surgery. The benefit from counterpulsation in critically decompensated aortic stenosis appears to be derived almost entirely from augmentation of the diastolic coronary filling gradient. The improvement that results from counterpulsation suggests that ischemia is the major cause of decompensation.

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