The intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) can be used to bridge critically ill end-stage heart failure patients to left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. However, the IABP's potential association with hemorrhagic complications raises concerns regarding its utilization in these patients.Aim:
We investigated whether preoperative long-term IABP support increases hemorrhagic complications post-LVAD implantation.Methods:
Ten patients undergoing IABP support prior to LVAD implantation (IABP-LVAD group) were compared with 16 who did not require IABP support (LVAD group).Results:
Mean duration of IABP support was 25.8 days. Preoperatively, both groups were comparable in all measured parameters and indices of end-organ function. Perioperative (defined as three weeks post-LVAD implantation, including the procedure) cellular and noncellular blood transfusion requirements were similar between IABP-LVAD and LVAD groups (19.8 ± 9.95 vs. 19.76 ± 29.69 RBC units, p = 0.96; 3.8 ± 4.14 vs. 2.0 ± 6.44 plateletpheresis units p = 0.84; 23 ± 16.04 vs. 25.14 ± 37.8 fresh frozen plasma units, p = 0.45). Perioperative minimum hematocrit (33.6 ± 5.6 vs. 36.59 ± 4.8, p = 0.38) and minimum platelet count (199 ± 153 vs. 144 ± 65, p = 0.52) were similar in the two groups. Two patients in the IABP-LVAD group and three patients in the LVAD group underwent reoperation post-LVAD implantation for bleeding. Length of ICU stay was longer in the LVAD group but did not reach statistical significance (6.2 ± 6.22 days in the IABP-LVAD group versus 13.45 ± 10.95 days in the LVAD group, p = 0.06).Conclusions:
Long-term IABP support as a bridge to LVAD implantation is not associated with increased hemorrhagic complications post-LVAD implantation.