The intraaortic balloon counterpulsation is performed today on the same principles that were described in its first experimental use in 1962. Experimental studies have shown significant increase of the mean aortic diastolic pressure, the diastolic pressure-time index, endocardial viability ratio, cardiac output, ejection fraction, coronary cerebral and renal blood flow, lactate utilization and myocardial oxygen supply and significant decrease of the systolic aortic pressure, left-ventricular end-diastolic pressure, left-ventricular work, tension time index, myocardial oxygen consumption and lactate production. In similar studies, intraaortic balloon pump (IABP) decreases the size of myocardial infarction. New IABP driving systems, small size sheaths and balloon catheters for percutaneous insertion made the use of the IABP easier and safer. The paraaortic counterpulsation device is suitable for chronic mechanical assistance. It is more effective than the IABP and shows excellent biocompatibility in chronic experiments. Its clinical application in 3 patients showed excellent biocompatibility and promising hemodynamic effects. In conclusion, the salutary hemodynamic effects of the IABP have been shown in several experimental studies. The technical improvements and the development and use of new devices suggest that we still need to learn more about the usefulness of the counterpulsation technique.