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A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery

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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2005 February;46(1):55-60

language: English

The use of preoperative intra-aortic balloon pump in open heart surgery

Pfeiffer S. 1,2, Frisch P. 3, Weyand M. 1,2, Ensminger S. M. 1, Tandler R. 1, Sirch J. 1,2, Fischlein T. 1, Cesnjevar R. 1

1 Erlangen-Nürnberg Center for Cardiac Surgery Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
2 Klinikum Süd, Nürnberg, Germany
3 Seefeld Clinic of Surgery Seefeld/Ammersee, Germany


Aim. Intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) therapy before open heart surgery has been suggested for “high risk” patients.
Methods. Records from patients undergoing open heart surgery at our institution between June 1999 and February 2002 were reviewed. Indication for IABP insertion was severely impaired left ventricular function, acute myocardial infarction (MI) or unstable angina.
Results. Fifthy-five patients were included in the study: 41 male, 14 female, age 64±9 years. Fifthy-one (92.7%) required coronary artery bypass brafting (CABG) alone or as a combined procedure, 2 (3.6%) required mitral valve surgery, and 2 (3.6%) needed more complex cardiac procedures. Thirty-two patients (58%) underwent emergency cardiac surgery and 11 patients (20%) suffered from acute preoperative MI. The overall 30 days mortality was 9%. Mean intensive care unit (ICU) stay was 6±8 days. Four patients (7.2%) developed postoperative renal failure requiring temporary hemodialysis. Three patients (5.4%) developed IABP related peripheral vascular complications.
Conclusion. Perioperative morbidity and mortality is increased despite preoperative IABP, particularly in patients with acute MI. In contrast to studies not using this approach, preoperative IABP reduces morbidity and mortality of high risk patients. IABP related complications are low. Our data suggest that high risk patients profit from preoperative IABP therapy, however, prospective studies are needed to confirm these findings.

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