Although intra-aortic balloon pumping (IABP) is the most frequently used mechanical cardiac assist device in cardiothoracic surgery, there are only guidelines for substantive sections of aortic counterpulsation including prophylactic and postoperative use. In contrast, evidence-based recommendations are still lacking concerning intraoperative use, management, contraindication and other relevant issues.
According to international surveys, important aspects of IABP usage show a wide variation in clinical practice. The results of a national questionnaire performed before initiation of this guideline confirmed these findings and demonstrated a clear need for the development of a consensus-based guideline.
Therefore, the presented multidisciplinary S-3-guideline was developed under the direction of the German Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Thorax-, Herz- und Gefäβchirurgie, DGTHG) to make evidence-based recommendations for the usage of aortic counterpulsation after cardiothoracic surgery according to the requirements of the Association of the Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (AWMF) and the Medical Centre for Quality (Ärztliches Zentrum für Qualität - (ÄZQ)).
Main topics discussed in this guideline involve IABP support in the prophylactic, preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative setting as well as the treatment of right heart failure, contraindications, anticoagulation, monitoring, weaning, and limitations of IABP therapy. The presented 15 key messages of the guideline were approved after two consensus meetings under moderation of the AWMF with participation of the German Society of Cardiology (DGK), German Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (DGAI), German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care (DIVI) and the German Society for Cardiovascular Engineering (DGfK).