Intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation - Basic principles and clinical evidence

Suzanne De Waha*, Steffen Desch, Ingo Eitel, Georg Fuernau, Philipp Lurz, Marcus Sandri, Gerhard Schuler, Holger Thiele

*Corresponding author for this work
11 Citations (Scopus)


Intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) counterpulsation has been the most widely used left ventricular assist device for nearly five decades. Due to diastolic inflation and systolic deflation, coronary blood flow is increased and afterload decreased translating into augmentation of oxygen supply and lowering of oxygen demand. However, IABP may be associated with serious complications, including major bleeding, stroke, local and systemic infections and vascular complications. These might counterbalance the potential beneficial hemodynamic effects.In clinical routine, IABP is mainly used in high-risk patients with acute myocardial infarction, especially when complicated by cardiogenic shock. Further, prophylactic IABP use is frequently performed in patients at high risk for hemodynamic instability undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention or coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Current evidence, however, does not fully support routine use of IABP in these settings.This review focuses on the basic principles of IABP and discusses current evidence.

Original languageEnglish
JournalVascular Pharmacology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)52-56
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 01.02.2014

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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