The Use of Mechanical Circulatory Assist Devices for ACS Patients with Cardiogenic Shock and High-Risk PCI

Curr Cardiol Rep. 2022 Jun;24(6):699-709. doi: 10.1007/s11886-022-01688-3. Epub 2022 Apr 11.


Purpose of review: There has been a significant expansion of the use of mechanical circulatory support (MCS) devices for patient with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) with cardiogenic shock (CS) and in patients undergoing high-risk percutaneous interventions (PCI). The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the indications and outcomes of these devices in high-risk cardiac patients.

Recent findings: Early revascularization of the culprit-lesion is the immediate goal in ACS patients with CS and the use of pulmonary artery catheters has been associated with improved outcomes in patients with cardiogenic shock. The MCS devices that are used for myocardial support include the intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP), the left ventricle (LV) to aorta pumps, left atrium (LA) to arterial pumps, and right atrial (RA) to arterial pumps. This review provides an overview on the use of these devices in patients with ACS and CS and those undergoing high-risk PCI. Attention is focused on the IABP, the Impella (LV-aorta pump), the TandemHeart (LA-arterial pump), and veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (RA-arterial pump). The indications, evidence, and complications of each device are reviewed. Each device varies in its physiological effect on native heart function, complexity in insertion, and complications. The use of MCS devices for high-risk PCI and CS has increased in recent years and have demonstrated efficacy in supporting a vulnerable myocardium. Although recommendations can be made for use of each device in certain clinical scenarios, further evidence through registries and clinical trials is necessary to guide appropriate device utilization.

Keywords: Cardiogenic shock; Coronary revascularization; ECMO; Impella; Intra-aortic balloon pump; Pulmonary artery catheter; TandemHeart.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome* / complications
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome* / surgery
  • Heart-Assist Devices* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumping
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention* / adverse effects
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome