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      Survival of patients treated with intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation at a tertiary care center in Pakistan – patient characteristics and predictors of in-hospital mortality

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          Intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation (IABC) has an established role in the treatment of patients presenting with critical cardiac illnesses, including cardiogenic shock, refractory ischemia and for prophylaxis and treatment of complications of percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). Patients requiring IABC represent a high-risk subset with an expected high mortality. There are virtually no data on usage patterns as well as outcomes of patients in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent who require IABC. This is the first report on a sizeable experience with IABC from Pakistan.


          Hospital charts of 95 patients (mean age 58.8 (± 10.4) years; 78.9% male) undergoing IABC between 2000–2002 were reviewed. Logistic regression was used to determine univariate and multivariate predictors of in-hospital mortality.


          The most frequent indications for IABC were cardiogenic shock (48.4%) and refractory ischemia (24.2%). Revascularization (surgical or PCI) was performed in 74 patients (77.9%). The overall in-hospital mortality rate was 34.7%. Univariate predictors of in-hospital mortality included (odds ratio [95% CI]) age (OR 1.06 [1.01–1.11] for every year increase in age); diabetes (OR 3.68 [1.51–8.92]) and cardiogenic shock at presentation (OR 4.85 [1.92–12.2]). Furthermore, prior CABG (OR 0.12 [0.04–0.34]), and in-hospital revascularization (OR 0.05 [0.01–0.189]) was protective against mortality. In the multivariate analysis, independent predictors of in-hospital mortality were age (OR 1.13 [1.05–1.22] for every year increase in age); diabetes (OR 6.35 [1.61–24.97]) and cardiogenic shock at presentation (OR 10.0 [2.33–42.95]). Again, revascularization during hospitalization (OR 0.02 [0.003–0.12]) conferred a protective effect. The overall complication rate was low (8.5%).


          Patients requiring IABC represent a high-risk group with substantial in-hospital mortality. Despite this high mortality, over two-thirds of patients do leave the hospital alive, suggesting that IABC is a feasible therapeutic device, even in a developing country.

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          Most cited references 13

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          Intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation in US and non-US centres: results of the Benchmark Registry.

           C. D. Reddy,  ,  Jeff Miller (2003)
          To examine differences in patient characteristics and outcomes in 19636 patients enrolled in the USA and 3027 patients enrolled in other countries undergoing intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) counterpulsation. Indications for IABP use; a larger percentage of US patients were identified as 'early support and stabilization for angiography or angioplasty' (21.1% US vs 11.8% non-US), and 'pre-operative support for high-risk CABG' (15.9% vs 6.6%). A smaller percentage of US patients vs non-US patients were identified as 'weaning from cardiopulmonary bypass' (14.3% vs 28.2%), and 'refractory ventricular failure' (6.2% vs 9.8%). One out of five patients in both groups was listed as 'cardiogenic shock' (18.9% US vs 20.2% non-US). All cause, risk-adjusted, in-hospital mortality (20.1% vs 28.7%; P<0.001), and mortality with IABP in place (10.8% vs 18.0%; P<0.001) were lower at US vs non-US sites. In both US and non-US institutions, IABP associated complication rates, such as IABP-related mortality (0.05% vs 0.07%), major limb ischaemia (0.9% vs 0.8%), and severe bleeding (0.9% vs 0.8%), were low. IABP counterpulsation is deployed at an earlier clinical stage in US patients. Mortality rates are higher for non-US patients, particularly for patients with non-surgery cardiac interventions, even after adjusting for risk factors. Complication rates were low. Physicians should therefore not be reluctant to use IABP in high-risk patients undergoing cardiac procedures.
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            Impact of thrombolysis, intra-aortic balloon pump counterpulsation, and their combination in cardiogenic shock complicating acute myocardial infarction: a report from the SHOCK Trial Registry. SHould we emergently revascularize Occluded Coronaries for cardiogenic shocK?

            We sought to investigate the potential benefit of thrombolytic therapy (TT) and intra-aortic balloon pump counterpulsation (IABP) on in-hospital mortality rates of patients enrolled in a prospective, multi-center Registry of acute myocardial infarction (MI) complicated by cardiogenic shock (CS). Retrospective studies suggest that patients suffering from CS due to MI have lower in-hospital mortality rates when IABP support is added to TT. This hypothesis has not heretofore been examined prospectively in a study devoted to CS. Of 1,190 patients enrolled at 36 participating centers, 884 patients had CS due to predominant left ventricular (LV) failure. Excluding 26 patients with IABP placed prior to shock onset and 2 patients with incomplete data, 856 patients were evaluated regarding TT and IABP utilization. Treatments, selected by local physicians, fell into four categories: no TT, no IABP (33%; n = 285); IABP only (33%; n = 279); TT only (15%; n = 132); and TT and IABP (19%; n = 160). Patients in CS treated with TT had a lower in-hospital mortality than those who did not receive TT (54% vs. 64%, p = 0.005), and those selected for IABP had a lower in-hospital mortality than those who did not receive IABP (50% vs. 72%, p < 0.0001). Furthermore, there was a significant difference in in-hospital mortality among the four treatment groups: TT + IABP (47%), IABP only (52%), TT only (63%), no TT, no IABP (77%) (p < 0.0001). Patients receiving early IABP (< or = 6 h after thrombolytic therapy, n = 72) had in-hospital mortality similar to those with late IABP (53% vs. 41%, n = 64, respectively, p = 0.172). Revascularization rates differed among the four groups: no TT, no IABP (18%); IABP only (70%); TT only (20%); TT and IABP (68%, p < 0.0001); this influenced in-hospital mortality significantly (39% with revascularization vs. 78% without revascularization, p < 0.0001). Treatment of patients in cardiogenic shock due to predominant LV failure with TT, IABP and revascularization by PTCA/CABG was associated with lower in-hospital mortality rates than standard medical therapy in this Registry. For hospitals without revascularization capability, a strategy of early TT and IABP followed by immediate transfer for PTCA or CABG may be appropriate. However, selection bias is evident and further investigation is required.
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              Contemporary utilization and outcomes of intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation in acute myocardial infarction: the benchmark registry.

              We sought to examine contemporary utilization patterns and clinical outcomes in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) requiring intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) counterpulsation. Despite increasing experience with and broadened indications for intra-aortic counterpulsation, the current indications, associated complications, and clinical outcomes of IABP use in AMI are unknown. Between June 1996 and August 2001, data were prospectively collected from 22,663 consecutive patients treated with aortic counterpulsation at 250 medical centers worldwide; 5,495 of these patients had AMI. Placement of an IABP in AMI patients was most frequently indicated for cardiogenic shock (27.3%), hemodynamic support during catheterization and/or angioplasty (27.2%) or prior to high-risk surgery (11.2%), mechanical complications of AMI (11.7%), and refractory post-myocardial infarction unstable angina (10.0%). Balloon insertions were successful in 97.7% of patients. Diagnostic catheterization was performed in 96% of patients, and 83% underwent coronary revascularization before hospital discharge. The in-hospital mortality rate was 20.0% (38.7% in patients with shock) and varied markedly by indication and use of revascularization procedures. Major IABP complications occurred in only 2.7% of patients, despite median use for three days, and early IABP discontinuation was required in only 2.1% of patients. With contemporary advances in device technology, insertion technique, and operator experience, IABP counterpulsation may be successfully employed for a wide variety of conditions in the AMI setting, providing significant hemodynamic support with rare major complications in a high-risk patient population.

                Author and article information

                BMC Cardiovasc Disord
                BMC Cardiovascular Disorders
                BioMed Central (London )
                1 December 2004
                : 4
                : 22
                [1 ]Department of Medicine, Section of Cardiology, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi 74800, Pakistan
                [2 ]Department of Cardiology, National Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, Karachi, Pakistan
                Copyright © 2004 Jafary et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Research Article

                Cardiovascular Medicine


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