A survey on the use of intra-aortic balloon pump in cardiac surgery

Elena Bignami, Luigi Tritapepe, Laura Pasin, Roberta Meroni, Laura Corno, Valentina Testa, Giovanni Landoni, Fabio Guarracino, Alberto Zangrillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) is an established tool in the management of cardiac dysfunction in cardiac surgery. The best timing for IABP weaning is unknown and varies greatly among cardiac centers. The authors investigated the differences in IABP management among 66 cardiac surgery centers performing 40,675 cardiac surgery procedures in the 12-month study period. The centers were contacted through email, telephone, or in person interview. IABP management was very heterogeneous in this survey: In 43% centers it was routinely removed on the first postoperative day, and in 34% on the second postoperative day. In 50% centers, it was routinely removed after extubation of the patients whereas in 15% centers it was removed while the patients were sedated and mechanically ventilated. In 66% centers, patients were routinely receiving pharmacological inotropic support at the time of removal of IABP. The practice of decreasing IABP support was also heterogeneous: 57% centers weaned by reducing the ratio of beat assistance whereas 34% centers weaned by reducing balloon volume. We conclude that the management of IABP is heterogeneous and there is a need for large prospective studies on the management of IABP in cardiac surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-277
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Cardiac Anaesthesia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Cardiac surgery
  • IABP
  • Intensive care
  • Intra-aortic balloon pump
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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