Sixty-eight patients were referred for consideration of intra-aortic balloon assistance, 55 of whom were accepted. Thirty-one patients were in cardiogenic shock after myocardial infarction and the remaining 24 were cardiac surgical patients. Twenty-three of the myocardial infarct group were established on IABA and all 24 of the cardiac surgical patients. Of the 23 patients with cardiogenic shock after myocardial infarction, 19 showed initial haemodynamic improvement on intra-aortic balloon assistance and 5 (22%) survived to leave hospital. Of the 24 cardiac surgical patients, 15 could not be withdrawn from total cardiopulmonary bypass. With intra-aortic balloon assistance, 11 (73%) could be withdrawn from cardiopulmonary bypass and 5 (33%) were hospital and long-term survivors. The remaining 9 surgical patients were in cardiogenic shock in the early postoperative phase, though 5 showed initial haemodynamic improvement there was only one hospital survivor in this group. Intra-aortic balloon assistance was, therefore, of most value in patients dependent on cardiopulmonary bypass. The survival in patients with cardiogenic shock after myocardial infarction was marginally improved.
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