BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study is to examine clinical characteristics and outcome in patients with cardiogenic shock or ongoing cardiogenic shock by acute coronary syndrome who underwent intraaortic balloon pump(IABP) support, and to identify factors predictive of in-hospital mortality. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-two consecutive patients with IABP support from 1994 to 1997 were analyzed retrospectively. RESULTS: The causes for insertion of IABP are cardiogenic shock(31%), unstable hemodynamics during angiography or angioplasty(31%), ventricular tachycardia(15%), mechanical complications(15%), and ongoing chest pain(6%). The overall survival rate was 47%. Revascularization procedures were done in 23 cases(72%) in whom inhospital survival rate was 52%. The mortality rate was significantly higher in patients with cardiogenic shock(80%) and mechanical complications(100%) including ventricular septal defect and acute mitral regurgitation, but lower with intractable ventricular tachycardia. Differences between survivors and nonsurvivors were not significant in regard to clinical characteristics, extent of coronary artery disease, time to IABP, time to coronary artery bypass graft, and clamping time, but only duration of IABP is longer in nonsurvivors. CONCLUSIONS: Emergent uses of IABP in patients with intractable ventricular tachycardia may be effective in maintaining hemodynamics before revascularization procedures, but patients with pump failure by cardiogenic shock or mechanical complications have higher mortality rates.