To assess the effectiveness of intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation (IABC) as adjunctive treatment in patients undergoing abdominal operations.
Retrospective review of patient medical records to determine the incidence of mortality following abdominal surgery and the incidence of complications from IABC.
University-based, tertiary care hospital.
Sixty-eight patients who underwent an abdominal operation and IABC during the same hospitalization were divided into the following groups: Group 1, IABC initiated prior to operation to enhance perioperative cardiac function; group 2, IABC used to treat cardiogenic shock in a patient who subsequently required an operation while undergoing IABC; and group 3, IABC device inserted and removed for treatment of cardiogenic shock in a patient who subsequently required an operation within 30 days of removal of the device.
Main Outcome Measures
The incidence of mortality in IABC-supported patients and IABC-related complications.
In group 1, excluding 3 patients who died following emergency operation, 26 patients underwent nonemergency procedures and had a 12% mortality rate. In group 2, 5 of 6 patients who underwent emergency operations died, whereas 3 of 4 patients who required only urgent operations survived. In group 3, 18 (62%) of 29 patients who underwent urgent or emergent operations died postoperatively. Thirteen patients experienced complications related to IABC; there were no deaths and no limbs were lost to ischemia.
This is the largest reported series looking at the utility of IABC as adjunctive treatment for patients undergoing abdominal operations. The outcome for those patients requiring emergency operations remains poor, but it is likely that more liberal use of IABC in patients with severe cardiac dysfunction who require nonemergency operations may improve patient outcome.