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Intra-Aortic Balloon Counterpulsation

      Intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation (IABP) is sometimes used in critically ill patients with cardiac disease. By increasing diastolic arterial pressure and decreasing systolic pressure, it reduces left ventricular afterload. IABP may be beneficial in subjects with cardiogenic shock, mechanical complications of myocardial infarction, intractable ventricular arrhythmias, or advanced heart failure or those who undergo “high-risk” surgical or percutaneous revascularization, but the evidence to support its use in these patient groups is largely observational. Contraindications to IABP include severe peripheral vascular disease as well as aortic regurgitation, dissection, or aneurysm. The potential benefits of IABP must be weighed against its possible complications (bleeding, systemic thromboembolism, limb ischemia, and, rarely, death).
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