Aims: The haemodynamic effects of primary implantation of an intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) versus inotropes in decompensated heart failure and low output (DHF-LO), but without an acute coronary syndrome, have not been investigated. We therefore aimed to investigate the effect of primary IABP implantation as compared to inotropes on haemodynamics in DHF-LO with no acute ischaemia.
Methods and results: Patients (n=32) with DHF-LO despite IV diuretics were randomised to primary 50 mL IABP or inotropes (INO: enoximone or dobutamine). The primary endpoint was the improvement of organ perfusion assessed by ∆ mixed-venous oxygen saturation (SvO2) at 3 hours; secondary endpoints included ∆ cardiac power output (CPO), NT-proBNP proportional change, cumulative fluid balance and ∆ dyspnoea severity score, all at 48 hours. Data are presented as median (IQR). Patients were 60 (48-69) years old and 72% were male. Baseline SvO2 was 44 (39-53)%. ∆SvO2 was higher in the IABP group (+17 [+9; +24] vs. +5 [+2; +9]%, p<0.05). IABP patients had a higher ∆CPO, a greater relative reduction in NT-proBNP, a more negative cumulative fluid balance, and a greater reduction in dyspnoea severity score. There were no IABP-related serious adverse events (SAEs). Thirty-day mortality was 23% (IABP) vs. 44% (INO).
Conclusions: Primary circulatory support by IABP showed a significant increase in improved organ perfusion assessed by SvO2.