Impella® Heart Pump – Report from Marburg
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schieffer, Head Physician of Cardiology at the University Hospital Gießen-Marburg, gives an insight into his experience with the Impella system.
“Protected PCI is steadily becoming more important”
Why working with Impella heart pumps?
Due to demographic trends, patients have more comorbidities, which makes treating them with conventional heart surgery less and less an option. "To meet this development and continue treating patients as best as possible, a tool was needed to enable complex interventions to be carried out in elderly patients," explains Prof. Schieffer. The Protected PCI approach in combination with the Impella heart pump meets these requirements.
Protected PCI makes high-risk treatments possible
With the use of the Impella heart pump, patients with pre-existing conditions who had previously been rejected for such an intervention can now be treated.
This includes, for example, comorbidities such as:
- Heart failure
- combined with a morphological complexity of the coronary stenosis
- or a reduced left ventricular function.
"According to clinical findings, high-risk patients with comorbidities such as a reduced ventricular function or complex coronary anatomies show an increased morbidity rate when treated with conventional cardiac surgery," explains Prof. Schieffer. With a Protected PCI, these patients can now be subjected to interventional therapies with the hemodynamic protection of the Impella heart pump due to the left ventricular unloading.
"The Protected PCI approach is necessary due to the social development. Patients are getting older and have more comorbidities, which makes treating them with conventional heart surgery less and less an option. With the Impella heart pump, we now have a tool that allows us to safely perform complex interventions. "
- Prof. Dr. Schieffer
Benefits of the Impella Heart Pump
The advantages of the Impella heart pump are relatively easy to summarize: The hemodynamic support system gives the attending physician the time necessary to carry out complex interventions, problems with hemodynamics and the resulting complications for patients such as neurological deficits or vascular complications are minimized.
This is also confirmed by clinical data, such as the Protect-II study, large register studies such as the USpella and smaller European studies. "These studies have shown that with the protection of the Impella heart pump, interventional therapies can be performed in patients who would have been rejected for such an intervention ten years ago," he continues.
"Clinical prospective studies and registers have shown that with the protection of the Impella heart pump, interventional therapies can be performed in patients who would have been rejected for such an intervention ten years ago."
- Prof. Dr. Schieffer
How to Start?
"In the catheter laboratory, four to five cases should be done in rapid succession, to facilitate manual procedures - from insertion to removal – and guarantee that they go hand in hand", Prof. Schieffer advises. The second step involves the intensive medical care and care of patients who need the Impella heart pump’s support for a longer period of time.
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schieffer
University Hospital Gießen-Marburg
Prof. Dr. Berhard Schieffer studied Medicine at the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg from 1986 to 1990. Afterwards, he took part in a 2-year Post-doctorate program in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the EMORY-University in Atlanta, USA. He spent his years as an assistant doctor in the Department of Cardiology and Angiology at the University Hospital in Freiburg and at the Hannover Medical School. He was part of the faculty from 1996 to 2012 and was the Head of the Cardiology Department from 2009 to 2012. Since 2012 he is the provisional Director of Cardiology at the University Clinic Gießen-Marburg.