Percutaneous left ventricular assist devices vs. intra-aortic balloon pump counterpulsation for treatment of cardiogenic shock: a meta-analysis of controlled trials

Eur Heart J. 2009 Sep;30(17):2102-8. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehp292. Epub 2009 Jul 18.


Aims: Studies have compared safety and efficacy of percutaneous left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) with intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) counterpulsation in patients with cardiogenic shock. We performed a meta-analysis of controlled trials to evaluate potential benefits of percutaneous LVAD on haemodynamics and 30-day survival.

Methods and results: Two independent investigators searched Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for all controlled trials using percutaneous LVAD in patients with cardiogenic shock, where after data were extracted using standardized forms. Weighted mean differences (MDs) were calculated for cardiac index (CI), mean arterial pressure (MAP), and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP). Relative risks (RRs) were calculated for 30-day mortality, leg ischaemia, bleeding, and sepsis. In main analysis, trials were combined using inverse-variance random effects approach. Two trials evaluated the TandemHeart and a recent trial used the Impella device. After device implantation, percutaneous LVAD patients had higher CI (MD 0.35 L/min/m(2), 95% CI 0.09-0.61), higher MAP (MD 12.8 mmHg, 95% CI 3.6-22.0), and lower PCWP (MD -5.3 mm Hg, 95% CI -9.4 to -1.2) compared with IABP patients. Similar 30-day mortality (RR 1.06, 95% CI 0.68-1.66) was observed using percutaneous LVAD compared with IABP. No significant difference was observed in incidence of leg ischaemia (RR 2.59, 95% CI 0.75-8.97) in percutaneous LVAD patients compared with IABP patients. Bleeding (RR 2.35, 95% CI 1.40-3.93) was significantly more observed in TandemHeart patients compared with patients treated with IABP.

Conclusion: Although percutaneous LVAD provides superior haemodynamic support in patients with cardiogenic shock compared with IABP, the use of these more powerful devices did not improve early survival. These results do not yet support percutaneous LVAD as first-choice approach in the mechanical management of cardiogenic shock.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Catheterization / adverse effects
  • Catheterization / methods*
  • Catheterization / mortality
  • Cause of Death
  • Female
  • Heart-Assist Devices* / adverse effects
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Humans
  • Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumping / adverse effects
  • Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumping / methods*
  • Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumping / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / mortality
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / physiopathology
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome