Intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation: rationale, application and results

Ezra A Amsterdam, N. A. Awan, G. Lee, Reginald Low, J. A. Joye, J. Foerster, S. Rendig, D. T. Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Intra-aortic balloon couterpulsation is an effective means of reducing myocardial ischemia and supporting the failing circulation. Its therapeutic benefits are the direct result of distolic augmentation and systolic unloading, the former increasing myocardial perfusion and the latter enhancing cardiac performance. Indirect effects include diminution of ischemia by decrease in the determinants of myocardial oxygen demand and improved ventricular function secondary to the decreased ischemia. Intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation is indicated in clinical syndromes related to intractable cardiac ischemia, including myocardial infarction shock and severe left ventricular failure, refractory ischemic pain, and ventricular arrhythmias unresponsive to medical management. It is also of importance in other situations associated with low cardiac output. This therapeutic modality has recently been considered for early use in extensive myocardial infarction to limit cardiac damage and avert complications Recent technical advances have facilitated the ease and safety of application of intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation. Complications are of low frequency but can be serious and employment of the method is predicated upon consideration of both potential benefits and risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-96
Number of pages18
JournalCardiovascular Clinics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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