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Intraaortic balloon pump counterpulsation

Roger J Laham, MD
Julian M Aroesty, MD
Section Editors
Bernard J Gersh, MB, ChB, DPhil, FRCP, MACC
Donald Cutlip, MD
Deputy Editor
Gordon M Saperia, MD, FACC


Intraaortic balloon pump counterpulsation (IABP) is one type of mechanical hemodynamic support, and it has emerged as the single most widely used circulatory assist device.

The basic principles regarding use of the IABP are presented here. Its efficacy in different clinical conditions is discussed on the appropriate topic reviews. Use of other circulatory assist devices, the cardiopulmonary assist device and the left ventricular assist device, is discussed elsewhere. (See "Short-term mechanical circulatory assist devices".)


The intraaortic balloon counterpulsation system is composed of two principal parts:

A flexible catheter with one lumen that allows for either distal aspiration/flushing or pressure monitoring and a second that permits the periodic delivery and removal of helium gas to a closed balloon. The balloons are manufactured in sizes between 20 and 50 cc.

A mobile console that contains the system for helium transfer as well as computer control of the inflation and deflation cycle.

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Dec 15, 2016.
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