Outcome and complications of prolonged intraaortic balloon counterpulsation in cardiac patients

J M Lazar, G M Ziady, S J Dummer, M Thompson, R J Ruffner
American Journal of Cardiology 1992 April 1, 69 (9): 955-8
The risks and benefits of prolonged intraaortic balloon support for the management of refractory congestive heart failure and ischemia were studied in patients with end-stage heart disease who needed support for greater than or equal to 5 days. Fifty-two insertions were performed by the percutaneous femoral route in 49 patients. The duration of insertion ranged from 5 to 46 days (mean 11.3). Clinical outcome including hemodynamic parameters and complications were recorded. Mean systemic arterial pressure did not change with balloon insertion (74 +/- 19 vs 76 +/- 11 mm Hg; p = not significant). Both the mean pulmonary artery and pulmonary arterial wedge pressures decreased (33 +/- 8 to 26 +/- 9 mm Hg [p less than 0.01], and 25 +/- 8 to 17 +/- 6 mm Hg [p less than 0.01], respectively). Over time, both parameters tended to increase, but remained significantly less than those before insertion. Cardiac index increased from 1.6 +/- 0.4 to 2.2 +/- 0.5 liters/min/m2 on insertion and continued to increase to 2.7 +/- 0.5 liters/min/m2 (p less than 0.01) before removal. Definite balloon catheter infection developed in 7 patients, and hemorrhage occurred in an additional 7. Eleven patients had vascular compromise, with loss of pulse in 6, thrombosis of the femoral artery in 1, and pseudoaneurysm in 2. Lacerated femoral artery occurred in 1 patient, and mesenteric artery thrombosis in another. Twenty patients died from progressive heart failure and multiorgan system failure, and 19 survived to receive left ventricular assist device and heart transplantation. Only 10 patients were weaned off the balloon. In conclusion, prolonged intraaortic balloon pump support may be successfully used in end-stage heart disease.

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