Vascular complications following intra-aortic balloon pump implantation: an updated review

de Jong, Monique M.; Lorusso, Roberto; Al Awami, Fatima; Matteuci, Francesco; Parise, Orlando; Lozekoot, Pieter; Bonacchi, Massimo; Maessen, Jos G.; Johnson, Daniel M. and Gelsomino, Sandro (2018). Vascular complications following intra-aortic balloon pump implantation: an updated review. Perfusion, 33(2) pp. 96–104.



The use of the intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) as a support device remains controversial due to the fact that a number of studies have shown no benefit in end mortality whilst using this device. One of the reasons for this could be the increase in vascular complications when using the pump. Therefore, the aim of the present review was to assess the current literature available with regards to IABP vascular complications during the clinical situation.

A literature search was performed, searching for IABP complications in adult human studies between 1990 and 2016.

A total of 20 reports were identified as fitting the criteria of this study. The majority of vascular complications were limb ischemia, bleeding or mesenteric ischemia. The overall incidence of vascular complications ranged from 0.94% to 31.1%. Diabetes, peripheral vascular disease and hypertension, as well as smoking were all identified as risk factors for complications following IABP. Furthermore, studies supported the use of sheathless balloon insertion to reduce the risk of complications.

Major vascular complications, including limb and mesenteric ischemia as well as bleeding and hemorrhage, have been associated with IABP. However, the incidence of these complications was generally low. Further studies are still required to truly understand the risk/benefit associated with the use of IABP.

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