intraaortic balloon pumping

Last reviewed 01/2018

Intraaortic balloon pumping is used to provide temporary mechanical assistance to a failing left ventricle.

A balloon catheter is inserted via the femoral artery into the aorta. Under radiographic screening, the balloon is positioned just distal to the aortic arch.

Using the ECG or the intraaortic pressure profile as a trigger, inflation and deflation of the balloon are synchronised with the heart beat:

  • the balloon is inflated during ventricular diastole, resulting in improved coronary and cerebral perfusion
  • the balloon is deflated during ventricular systole resulting in a reduction in the peripheral resistance