Overview of mechanical circulatory support for the management of post-myocardial infarction ventricular septal rupture

Published:December 14, 2022DOI:


      • Despite decreasing prevalence, post-myocardial infarction ventricular septal rupture (PIVSR) still has a high mortality rate.
      • Surgical repair is the standard treatment for PIVSR.
      • Heart failure due to PIVSR is treated with mechanical circulatory support devices, including Impella.
      • ECpella can act as a surgical bridge, delaying heart failure due to PIVSR.
      • This results in delayed surgery allowing for more optimal surgical timing.


      Post-myocardial infarction ventricular septal rupture (PIVSR) is becoming increasingly rare in the percutaneous coronary intervention era; however, the mortality rates remain high. Surgical repair is the gold standard treatment for PIVSR but is associated with surgical difficulty and high mortality. Therefore, the timing of surgery is controversial (i.e. either undertake emergency surgery or wait for resolution of organ failure and scarring of the infarcted area). Although long-term medical management is usually ineffective, several mechanical circulatory support (MCS) devices have been used to postpone surgery to an optimal timing. Recently, in addition to venous arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO), new MCS devices, such as Impella (Abiomed Inc., Boston, MA, USA), have been developed. Impella is a pump catheter that pumps blood directly from the left ventricle, in a progressive fashion, into the ascending aorta. VA-ECMO is a temporary MCS system that provides complete and rapid cardiopulmonary support, with concurrent hemodynamic support and gas exchange. When left and right heart failure and/or respiratory failure occur in cardiogenic shock or PIVSR after acute myocardial infarction, ECpella (Impella and VA-ECMO) is often introduced, as it can provide circulatory and respiratory assistance in a shorter period. This review outlines the basic concepts of MCS in PIVSR treatment strategies and its role as a bridge device, and discusses the efficacy and complications of ECpella therapy and the timing of surgery.

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