Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2014; 62(03): 270-271
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1358528
Letter to the Editor
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Vascular Complications after Intra-aortic Balloon Pump Insertion Are Rare Events

Andreas Böning
1  Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, University Hospital Giessen, Giessen, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

21 August 2013

29 August 2013

Publication Date:
28 December 2013 (online)

With great interest, we read the article of Yuksel et al regarding vascular complications of the intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) insertion.[1] They report an early vascular complication rate of 8.7% in 148 IABP patients over a time period from 2002 to 2011. Unfortunately, the authors did not cite several articles describing a far lower complication rate between 1.2 and 3.7%.[2] [3] [4] After acceptance of the author's article, we published an article on the same subject,[5] showing a very low incidence of vascular complications with the same modern insertion techniques described by Yuksel et al. We did a meticulous 5-year follow-up of the surviving IABP patients and found that only 5 out of 97 patients had a clinically relevant arterial stenosis on the same side as the IABP implantation. Of these five patients, four already had the diagnosis “peripheral arterial disease” before IABP implantation. Only 1 out of 97 patients showed a new-onset arterial perfusion problem at the site of IABP insertion.

Taking the mentioned references into account, the conclusion of Yuksel et al “Incidence of vascular complications in IABP counterpulsation is still a problem…” seems not justified.