In vitro comparison of support capabilities of intra-aortic balloon pump and Impella 2.5 left percutaneous.
The Impella 2.5 left percutaneous (LP), a relatively new transvalvular assist device, challenges the position of the intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP), which has a long record in supporting patients after myocardial infarction and cardiac surgery. However, while more costly and more demanding in management, the advantages of the Impella 2.5 LP are yet to be established. The aim of this study was to evaluate the benefits of the 40 cc IABP and the Impella 2.5 LP operating at 47,000 rpm in vitro, and compare their circulatory support capabilities in terms of cardiac output, coronary flow, cardiac stroke work, and arterial blood pressure. Clinical scenarios of cardiogenic preshock and cardiogenic shock (CS), with blood pressure depression, lowered cardiac output, and constant heart rate of 80 bpm, were modeled in a model-controlled mock circulation, featuring a systemic, pulmonary, and coronary vascular bed. The ventricles, represented by servomotor-operated piston pumps, included the Frank-Starling mechanism. The systemic circulation was modeled with a flexible tube having close-to-human aortic dimensions and compliance properties. Proximally, it featured a branch mimicking the brachiocephalic arteries and a physiological correct coronary flow model. The rest of the systemic and pulmonary impedance was modeled by four-element Windkessel models. In this system, the enhancement of coronary flow and blood pressure was tested with both support systems under healthy and pathological conditions. Hemodynamic differences between the IABP and the Impella 2.5 LP were small. In our laboratory model, both systems approximately yielded a 10% cardiac output increase and a 10% coronary flow increase. However, since the Impella 2.5 LP provided significantly better left ventricular unloading, the circulatory support capabilities were slightly in favor of the Impella 2.5 LP. On the other hand, pulsatility was enhanced with the IABP and lowered with the Impella 2.5 LP. The support capabilities of both the IABP and the Impella 2.5 LP strongly depended on the simulated hemodynamic conditions. Maximum hemodynamic benefits were achieved when mechanical circulatory support was applied on a simulated scenario of deep CS.