Complications from intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation: a review of 303 cardiac surgical patients

J. M. Alvarez*, R. Gates, D. Rowe, P. W. Brady

*Corresponding author for this work

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36 Citations (Scopus)


From January 1980 to January 1990 all patients undergoing cardiac surgery at the Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, and requiring intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation (IABCP) were retrospectively reviewed. A total of 99 patients (32.6%)developed complications. Vascular/haemorrhagic complications occurred in 46 patients (15.2%); 79 patients (26%) required platelet transfusions. We have found that only a history of hypertension was predictive of an increased incidence of developing vascular complications. Surgical intervention was required in 17 patients (5.6%), or 47% of the patients who developed a vascular complication. The mortality among patients requiring IABCP was 36.6%. Intra-aortic balloon pump-related deaths occurred in 6 patients (2%). Use of the intra-aortic balloon pump can be a life-saving procedure, but it carries a significant morbidity and mortality rate. This makes it imperative to temper our indications to those patients who demonstrate a need for it. [Eur J Cardio-thorac Surg (1992) 6:530-535].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-535
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Complications
  • Intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation (IABCP)


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