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tools and techniques

Tools & Techniques: Percutaneous left ventricular assist devices

Department of Internal Medicine/Cardiology, University of Leipzig - Heart Center, Leipzig, Germany

Insertable percutaneous devices, such as the intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) or active left ventricular assist devices (LVAD), are currently mainly used for additional treatment in haemodynamically unstable patients in cardiogenic shock, and for selected patients undergoing high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Owing to the lack of sufficient scientific evidence, there is wide variation in the use of the different available devices.

Most centres have only limited experience with the use and implantation technique of the different devices available, since each centre usually has only one or two different devices in stock. This educational article will focus on the different percutaneous devices currently on the market and the practical issues relating to selection, implantation technique, and potential complications and management.

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