Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Axial flow ventricular assist devices in cardiogenic shock complicating acute myocardial infarction
  1. Laurna McGovern,
  2. John Cosgrave
  1. Cardiology, Saint James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Laurna McGovern, Cardiology, Saint James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland; lkmcgovern2{at}


Cardiogenic shock (CS) remains the leading cause of death in patients hospitalised with acute myocardial infarction with mortality as high as 40%–50% prior to hospital discharge. The failure of inotropic therapy to maintain adequate perfusion and to prevent irreversible end-organ failure has led to attempts to improve outcomes by mechanical circulatory support (MCS) devices. Axial flow ventricular assist devices, namely Impella, are an attractive therapeutic option due to their positive haemodynamic benefits and ease of use. Despite clear beneficial haemodynamic effects, which should significantly impact on the pathophysiology of CS, there are currently no clear data to support their use in the reduction of clinical end points such as cardiac death. This review summarises and critically evaluates the current scientific evidence for the use of axial flow ventricular assist devices and highlights gaps in our understanding. Given such gaps, a consensus multidisciplinary approach, predicated on emphasising timely diagnosis and appropriate use of MCS, is vital to ensure that the right patient is paired with the right device at the right time.

  • acute myocardial infarction
  • percutaneous coronary intervention
  • Advanced heart failure therapies (LV assist devices total artificial heart)

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors LMcG was involved in the concept, drafting and critical analysis of the manuscript. JC was involved in the drafting and critical analysis of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.