We made bilateral calf measurements on a patient undergoing elective IABP placement to ameliorate severe heart failure prior to open heart surgery.
Prior to balloon insertion, the PV curves in the legs were equal in appearance and amplitude. Immediately after 8Fr sheath placement and balloon catheter insertion (in the left femoral artery), PV in the left calf dropped to 70% of the right calf. This ratio progressively decreased and one hour later was 50%. In addition the shape of the PV curves changed when pumping commenced. Significant diastolic augmentation was observed in the PV curve with the IABP turned on. The curve returned to baseline when the pump was placed on standby.
Anecdotal data from one IABP patient at St.Joseph's Hospital, Paterson, NJ