Basic Principles of the Intraaortic Balloon Pump and Mechanisms Affecting Its Performance

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The intraaortic balloon pump (IABP) is the single most effective and widely used device for temporary mechanical assistance of the failing heart. Although the principles underlying IABP function are simple, various biologic factors often determine its performance in a particularly complicated way. We briefly describe the basic disciplines of counterpulsation by IABP and the induced hemodynamic changes while clarifying the biologic mechanisms that play a crucial role in the modification of IABP acute hemodynamic performance.

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