Ambulatory intraaortic balloon pump use as bridge to heart transplant

Richard P. Cochran, Thomas D. Starkey, Anthony L. Panos, Karyn S. Kunzelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Background. This study evaluates a modification of an ambulatory intraaortic balloon pump (IABP) technique used in patients with heart failure of ischemic origin for bridge to transplant. Methods. In this retrospective review we evaluated the ability to place the ambulatory IABP, any complications, time on device, and success in bridging to transplant on the ambulatory IABP device. In addition, the cost as compared to current ventricular assist devices was determined. Results. Between July 2000 and November 2001, 4 patients have been managed with ambulatory IABP in our combined University of Wisconsin and William S. Middleton Veterans Administration programs. All 4 patients had ischemia as their mode of heart failure, and each had a relative contraindication to standard ventricular assist device use. All 4 patients had ambulatory IABPs successfully placed through the left axillary artery without complication, and were able to ambulate early after ambulatory IABP placement, and increased their rehabilitation status before transplantation. Ambulatory IABP support ranged from 12 to 70 days. All 4 patients have been successfully transplanted and discharged from the hospital. Use of the ambulatory IABP support, even with multiple replacements, translated to 10- to 50-fold savings for each of the reported patients versus standard ventricular assist device use. Conclusions. As a result of our initial experience, we believe that ambulatory IABP is an excellent mode of support in selected patients, and is cost-effective, as compared to conventional ventricular assist device therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)746-751
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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