eISSN: 1897-4295
ISSN: 1734-9338
Advances in Interventional Cardiology/Postępy w Kardiologii Interwencyjnej
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vol. 16
Image in intervention

Fully percutaneous insertion and removal of the Impella CP via a subclavian approach

Jerzy Sacha
1, 2
Krzysztof Krawczyk
Marek Gierlotka

Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Opole University of Technology, Opole, Poland
Department of Cardiology, University Hospital, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Opole, Opole, Poland
Adv Interv Cardiol 2020; 16, 3 (61): 343–346
Online publish date: 2020/10/02
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The Impella (Abiomed) is a mechanical circulatory support device which augments cardiac output, but may also unload a left ventricle during venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) [1]. However, the Impella requires an access to a large artery and this may be problematic in a severe peripheral arterial disease. The presented case demonstrates how to insert and remove the Impella CP via a subclavian approach without surgical cutting.

A 69-year-old man was admitted due to an ambulatory myocardial infarction (i.e. he presented a decreasing level of cardiac enzymes and a history of chest pain several days before) and heart failure symptoms with the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) 20%. He also suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, neurofibromatosis (i.e. von Recklinghausen’s disease), prostate cancer and depression. Coronary angiography revealed chronic total occlusion of the left anterior descending artery (without myocardium viability in a subsequent dobutamine echocardiography), significant stenoses (up to 80–90%) in the proximal, medial and distal portion of the left circumflex coronary artery (Figure 1 A), and a hypoplastic right coronary artery. After examinations, the Heart Team qualified the patient for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) of the left circumflex coronary artery. Because of the high risk, PCI had to be performed with the Impella; however, the ultrasound examination and multi-slice computed tomography revealed an occlusion of the right iliac artery, a significant (80%) calcified stenosis of the left iliac artery, and a critical stenosis of the left subclavian artery. Due to long calcified lesions within iliac arteries, according to the Heart Team opinion, the best option was insertion of the Impella via a subclavian approach and PCI via a left femoral access.

To place the Impella without surgical cutting, a 7F Glidesheath Slender Introducer (Terumo) was placed into the right radial artery and angiography was performed to reveal the anatomy of the subclavian and axillary arteries (Figure 1 B). A 0.035" (260 cm) guidewire was inserted into the aorta and an over-the-wire 9/40 mm peripheral balloon was positioned at the puncture site which was determined in the ultrasound imaging several centimeters below the right clavicula. The arterial puncture was guided by ultrasound and fluoroscopy and was performed on the fully inflated peripheral balloon – the balloon stabilized the vessel position and prevented squeezing of the vessel and an unintentional puncture of the opposite arterial wall which might result in hematoma (Figure 1 C). Then, a 6F sheath was placed and the access site was dilated to create a space for the 14F introducer (i.e. the Impella peel-away introducer). Three Proglide closure devices (Abbott Vascular) were deployed to ensure effective closure of the puncture site, and a 0.035" (150 cm) stiff guidewire was inserted which was used to deliver the 14F peel-away introducer. During exchanging all these devices, the peripheral balloon was inflated within the subclavian artery to prevent bleeding (Figure 1 D). After placing the 14F introducer, the Impella CP was installed in a standard way, and PCI with rotational atherectomy and drug-eluting stents implantation was performed (Figure 1 E). The Impella was removed immediately after the coronary intervention, and then a 0.035" stiff guidewire was inserted through the 14F introducer for safety reasons. Via the radial access, a peripheral balloon was placed and inflated at the puncture site to prevent bleeding during the 14F introducer removal (Figure 1 F). Finally, the vessel was closed with Proglide devices, and an 8F AngioSeal (Terumo) was placed to eliminate a residual leak. The angiography confirmed a good hemostatic effect (Figures 1 G, H). After PCI, the patient’s condition improved and LVEF increased to 38%.

In the described technique, both the Impella CP and peripheral balloons for hemostasis were delivered through a single extremity (i.e. the right upper one). However, other operators insert peripheral balloons for hemostasis by using another limb (usually through a femoral artery) [2, 3]. Thus, the presented technique is simpler and feasible even in the case where a second limb access is not possible. Moreover, it may be potentially utilized in a single access technique where no other peripheral access is necessary [4].

We thank Izabela Wójcik, Małgorzata Demkowicz and Anna Kwiatkowska for their assistance during the operation.

Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
1. Gawda R, Marszalski M, Sacha J, et al. Concomitant use of veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and Impella in the intensive care unit: a case report of fulminant myocarditis with multi-organ failure. Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2020; 52: 63-6.
2. Mathur M, Hira RS, Smith BM, et al. Fully percutaneous technique for transaxillary implantation of the Impella CP. JACC Cardiovasc Interv 2016; 9: 1196-8.
3. Tayal R, Barvalia M, Rana Z, et al. Totally percutaneous insertion and removal of Impella device using axillary artery in the setting of advanced peripheral artery disease. J Invasive Cardiol 2016; 28: 374-80.
4. Wollmuth J, Korngold E, Croce K, Pinto DS. The Single-access for Hi-risk PCI (SHiP) technique. Catheter Cardiovasc Interv 2020; 96: 114-6.
Copyright: © 2020 Termedia Sp. z o. o. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/), allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.
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