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Complex, high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention (HR-PCI) is increasingly being performed, often with mechanical circulatory support (MCS), though to date, there are limited randomised data on the efficacy of MCS for HR-PCI. The majority of MCS is provided by intra-aortic balloon pumps, but increasingly Impella® (Abiomed, Danvers, MA, USA) heart pumps are being used. While the Impella pumps provide greater increases in cardiac output, these devices require large bore access, which has been associated with an increased risk of bleeding and vascular complications. Decisions regarding the use of Impella are often based on risk–benefit considerations, with Impella-related bleeding risk being a major factor that can impact decisions for planned use. While bleeding risk related to large bore access is a concern, published data on the risk have been quite variable. Thus, the goal of this article is to provide a comprehensive review of reports describing bleeding and vascular complications for Impella-supported HR-PCI.



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