Left-to-right shunt reduction with intra-aortic balloon pump in postmyocardial infarction ventricular septal defect


  • Conflict of interest: Nothing to report.

Correspondence to: Robert Francis Bonvini, MD, Division of Cardiology, University Hospital of Geneva, 4, rue Gabrielle-Perret-Gentil, 1211 Geneva 14/Switzerland. E-mail: Robert.Bonvini@hcuge.ch


This case aims to describe the hemodynamic effects of intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) in patients with ventricular septal defect (VSD) complicating myocardial infarction (MI). A 79-year-old man with no previous cardiovascular history presented to the emergency department with subacute inferior myocardial infarction associated with mild signs of systemic hypoperfusion. A transthoracic echocardiography revealed a large akinesia of the left ventricular inferior wall with preserved global left ventricular ejection fraction, as well as a large VSD in the midinferior portion of the interventricular septum. Coronary angiography showed an occlusion of the mid portion of a dominant circumflex coronary artery. The invasive hemodynamic evaluation showed a sizable left-to-right shunt (Qp/Qs = 3.1). Activation of the IABP led to an immediate reduction of the shunt (Qp/Qs = 2.4 = 22% reduction), an increase in systemic cardiac output (from 2.1 L/min to 2.4 L/min = +12%) and a decrease in the systemic vascular resistances (from 2240 to 1920 dyne-sec/cm5 = 15% reduction). In patients with post-MI VSD, placement of IABP leads to an immediate reduction in left-to-right shunt and as a consequence to an increase in systemic cardiac output, which may allow hemodynamic stabilization of the patient prior to surgical VSD closure. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.