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Evidence to Improve Care

Percutaneous Ventricular Assist Devices 


Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee Recommendations

  • The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee recommends that Impella percutaneous ventricular assist devices not be publicly funded for use in high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention

  • The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee recommends that Impella percutaneous ventricular assist devices not be publicly funded for use in cardiogenic shock

Read the full OHTAC Recommendation report



Percutaneous ventricular support can help to maintain blood flow and blood pressure during high-risk heart procedures and/or when the heart suddenly cannot pump enough blood and goes into cardiogenic shock.

In fiscal year 2015-2016, an estimated 355 patients in Ontario received percutaneous ventricular support for high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention or for management of cardiogenic shock.

This review compared the Impella devices against intra-aortic balloon pumps and/or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention and cardiogenic shock.


Health Quality Ontario Reviews Percutaneous Ventricular Assist Devices

The Impella device is a percutaneous ventricular assist device that has a small pump at one end of a thin, flexible tube. It is implanted into the heart through an artery in the leg and pumps blood from the left ventricle through the heart valve into a blood vessel called the ascending aorta.


Percutaneous Ventricular Assist Devices: A Health Technology Assessment (PDF) 
February 2017


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The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care endorses this recommendation.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: The Ministry agrees with this recommendation and encourages physicians and hospitals to consider HQO’s evidence-informed advice on this topic as an element in their clinical decision-making.




Health Technology Assessment at Health Quality Ontario

As part of our core function to promote health care supported by the best available evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze the evidence for a wide range of health interventions, including diagnostic tests, medical devices, interventional and surgical procedures, health care programs and models of care. These analyses are informed by input from a range of individuals, including patients and clinical experts. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) — a committee of the Health Quality Ontario board of directors — reviews the evidence and makes recommendations about whether health care interventions should be publicly funded or not. Draft recommendations are posted on the Health Quality Ontario website for feedback. Final recommendations are approved by our board of directors and then shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more detailed information, visit our Evidence to Improve Care pages.


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