Heparin-free management of intra-aortic balloon pump after cardiac surgery

Alexander Kogan, Sergey Preisman, Leonid Sternik, Boris Orlov, Dan Spiegelstein, Hanoch Hod, Ateret Malachy, Shany Levin, Ehud Raanani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Anticoagulation with heparin is recommended in patients with an intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) to prevent thrombosis and embolization. However, anticoagulation increases the risk of bleeding, particularly in the early postoperative period after cardiac surgery. We investigated the safety of heparin-free management after IABP insertion in patients who underwent cardiac surgery. Methods: We studied 203 consecutive patients who received perioperative IABP support between August 2004 and December 2011. All patients were managed without heparin and were followed for thrombotic and/or hemorrhagic complications. Results: Patients were divided into two groups, according to time of IABP treatment following surgery. Group I, 81 patients (39.9%) were treated less than 24 hours following surgery and Group II, 122 patients (60.1%) were treated more than 24 hours following surgery. Vascular complications developed in seven patients (3.4%), two in Group I and five in Group II. Three patients had major and four had minor limb ischemia. There were no major bleeding complications, but minor bleeding complications were observed in eight patients (4.2%). Conclusion: In patients undergoing cardiac surgery with IABP support, the rate of thromboembolic complications was relatively low compared to historical controls. Heparin-free management may reduce the risk of hemorrhagic complications, with a low risk of thrombotic complications. Heparin should not be routinely used in patients requiring IABP after cardiac surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-437
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Cardiac Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'Heparin-free management of intra-aortic balloon pump after cardiac surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this