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Apollo Heart Institute



The Intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) is a mechanical device that increases myocardial oxygen perfusion while at the same time increasing Cardiac output. It consists of a cylindrical polyethylene balloon that sits in the aorta and counterpulsates. That is, it actively deflates in systole, increasing forward blood flow by reducing afterload through a vacuum effect. It actively inflates in diastole, increasing blood flow to the coronary arteries via retrograde flow.

Major Indications:

  • Reversible intracardial mechanical defects complicating infarction, i.e. acute mitral regurgitation and septal perforation.
  • Unstable angina pectoris benefits from counterpulsation.
  • Post Cardiothoracic surgery - most common and useful is counterpulsation in weaning patients from cardiopulmonary bypass after continued perioperative injury to myocardial tissue.
  • Preoperative use is suggested for high-risk patients such as those with unstable angina with stenosis greater than 70% of main coronary artery, in ventricular dysfunction with an ejection fraction less than 35%.
  • Percutaneous coronary Angioplasty.
  • In high risk coronary artery bypass graft surgery where cardiopulmonary bypass time was shortened, as well as during intubation period and hospital stay.
  • Thrombolytic therapy of acute myocardial infarction.