International Perfusion Association


ECMO and Impella Support Strategies as a Bridge to Surgical Repair of Post-Infarction Ventricular Septal Rupture

Background and Objectives: Post-infarct ventricular septal rupture (PIVSR) continues to have significant morbidity and mortality, despite decreased prevalence. Impella and venoarterial extracorporeal membranous oxygenation (VA-ECMO) have been proposed as strategies to correct hemodynamic derangements and bridge patients to delayed operative repair when success rates are higher. This review places VA-ECMO and Impella support strategies in the context of bridging patients to successful PIVSR repair, with an additional case report of successful bridging with the Impella device. Materials and Methods: We report a case of PIVSR repair utilizing 14 days of Impella support. We additionally conducted a systematic review of contemporary literature to describe the application of VA-ECMO and Impella devices in the pre-operative period prior to surgical PIVSR correction. Expert commentary on the advantages and disadvantages of each of these techniques is provided. Results: We identified 19 studies with 72 patients undergoing VA-ECMO as a bridge to PIVSR repair and 6 studies with 11 patients utilizing an Impella device as a bridge to PIVSR repair. Overall, outcomes in both groups were better than expected from patients who were historically managed with medicine and balloon pump therapy, however there was a significant heterogeneity between studies. Impella provided for excellent left ventricular unloading, but did result in some concerns for reversal of shunting. VA-ECMO resulted in improved end-organ perfusion, but carried increased risks of device-related complications and requirement for additional ventricular unloading. Conclusions: Patients presenting with PIVSR in cardiogenic shock requiring a MCS bridge to definitive surgical repair continue to pose a challenge to the multidisciplinary cardiovascular team as the diverse presentation and management issues require individualized care plans. Both VA-ECMO and the Impella family of devices play a role in the contemporary management of PIVSR and offer distinct advantages and disadvantages depending on the clinical scenario. The limited case numbers reported demonstrate feasibility, safety, and recommendations for optimal management.

Keywords: Impella; cardiogenic shock; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; mechanical circulatory support; post-infarction mechanical complication; ventricular septal defect; ventricular septal rupture.

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