Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump

In short, this thing is a catheter with a helium-filled balloon on the end, threaded into one's aorta, rigged to fill and empty in sequence with the cardiac cycle. Yes, it's a very strange thing to have in your aorta. An no, it's not at all uncomfortable - Alex Yartsev

Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump

image by: IU Health LifeLine

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Another Hole in the Ballon (-Pump)!

In the late 1960's the technology of counter-pulsation by using an intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) was introduced into clinical work. Based on the principle of diastolic inflation and systolic deflation, IABP counter-pulsation improves diastolic coronary artery blood flow and decreases left ventricular afterload. Up to the year 2009, 2012 respectively, the usage of an IABP in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction and cardiogenic shock was considered a class IC recommendation (reminder: levels of evidence).

Since then a couple of well conducted, larger trials have failed to show a positive impact of IABP especially on mortality. In regards of the most recent meta-analysis…

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Last Updated : Sunday, May 16, 2021