Strategies for Temporary Mechanical Support: Contemporary Experience with Pulsatile and Non-pulsatile Support Systems


  • Nader Moazami
  • Marc R. Moon
  • Michael K. Pasque
  • Jennifer S. Lawton
  • Marci S. Bailey
  • Ralph J. Damiano, Jr.



Despite advances in mechanical circulatory support, cardiogenic shock continues to have a high mortality. We reviewed our experience with pulsatile versus non-pulsatile temporary mechanical support at our institution to determine optimal strategy for survival.

From January 2001 to December 2003, mechanical support for cardiogenic shock was instituted in 38 patients.

Non-pulsatile devices (NP group) were used in 22 patients and pulsatile devices (P group) in 16 patients. Indications for the NP group were post-cardiotomy shock (PCS) in 17, myocardial infarction in 2, and isolated post-cardiotomy right ventricular failure in 3 patients. In the P group, 9 had the device placed for PCS, 3 for viral myocarditis, 1 after myocardial infarction, and 3 for right ventricular (RV) failure. Overall, bleeding, limb ischemia, and multi-system organ failure were higher in NP group with 5 weaned and 3 surviving to discharge (14%). In the P group, survivors included 7 weaned and 3 transplanted patients (63%).

With the exception of isolated RV failure, we obtained a dismal survival result with ECMO/centrifugal circuits for treatment of cardiogenic shock. For refractory pump failure, improved survival was achieved by using intermediate-term pulsatile devices with early transition to a chronic device and/or heart transplantation.


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How to Cite

Moazami, N., Moon, M. R., Pasque, M. K., Lawton, J. S., Bailey, M. S., & Damiano, Jr., R. J. (2005). Strategies for Temporary Mechanical Support: Contemporary Experience with Pulsatile and Non-pulsatile Support Systems. The Heart Surgery Forum, 8(4), E216-E220.




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