Prospects For Surviving Heart Attack Emergency Improve When Clot-Busting Drugs,,Are Combined With Balloon Pump Inserted In Aorta

ce the balloon is in place, a pump is used to expand and contract it. When the balloon expands, it helps improve delivery of oxygenated blood to all the body's tissues and to the heart muscle itself.

To conduct the retrospective study, the researchers used the National Registry of Myocardial Infarction 2, a data base maintained by Genentech. The researchers identified 21,718 patients who had acute heart attacks and who arrived at the hospital with cardiogenic shock or else developed the condition while in the hospital. Of the 21,178 patients studied, 6993 received the balloon pump treatment.

Cardiogenic shock is a life-threatening condition in which, as a result of the heart's failure to pump, blood pressure drops too low to maintain the functioning of other organs. More often than not, cardiogenic shock leads to death.

Barron says use of a pump may improve delivery of a thrombolytic drug to the site of heart-attack causing clot, thereby boosting prospects for breaking up the clot and restoring blood flow to the oxygen-starved heart.


Contact: Jeffrey Norris
(415) 476-2557
University of California - San Francisco

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