Ischemic Stroke and Intracranial Hemorrhages during Impella Cardiac Support

Catherine E. Hassett, Sung Min Cho, Saad Hasan, Cory J. Rice, Ibrahim Migdady, Randall C. Starling, Edward Soltesz, Ken Uchino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Impella is a percutaneously placed, ventricular assist device for short-term cardiac support. We aimed to study acute neurologic complications during short-term cardiac support with Impella. We reviewed prospectively collected data of 79 consecutive persons implanted with Impella at a single tertiary center. Acute neurologic events (ANE) were defined as ischemic strokes or intracranial hemorrhages. Among those with ANE, specific causes of ischemic and hemorrhagic events were collected and discussed. Of 79 persons with Impella with median 8 days of support (range 1-33 days), six (7.5%) developed ANE at a median of 5 days from implant (range 1-8 days). There were three ischemic strokes, two intracerebral hemorrhages, and one subdural hematoma. Hemorrhagic events were attributed to anticoagulant use and thrombocytopenia at the time of the events. Two ischemic strokes were attributed to inadequate anticoagulation with one case of pump thrombosis diagnosed at the time of ischemic stroke. Only two of the six patients survived the acute cardiogenic shock period to achieve heart transplantation. In-hospital ischemic strokes and intracranial hemorrhages are not uncommon during short-term cardiac support period with Impella. Antithrombotic intensity, duration of device support time, and thrombocytopenia might contribute to the incidence of these events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E105-E109
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • heart failure
  • Impella
  • intracranial hemorrhage
  • stroke
  • ventricular assist device

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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