Acute myocardial infarction and cardiogenic shock: Should we unload the ventricle before percutaneous coronary intervention?

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Progress in cardiovascular diseases


Despite early reperfusion and coordinated systems of care, cardiogenic shock (CS) remains the number one cause of morbidity and in-hospital mortality following acute myocardial infarction (AMI). CS is a complex clinical syndrome that begins with hemodynamic instability and can progress to multi-organ failure and profound hemo-metabolic compromise. To improve outcomes, a clear understanding of the treatment objectives in CS and developing time-sensitive management strategies aimed at stabilizing hemodynamics and restoring myocardial perfusion are critical. Left ventricular (LV) load has been identified as an independent predictor of heart failure and mortality following AMI. Decades of preclinical and clinical research have identified several effective LV unloading strategies. Recent initiatives from single and multi-center registries and more recently the Door to Unload (DTU)-STEMI pilot study have provided valuable insight to developing a standardized treatment approach to AMI, based on early invasive hemodynamics and tailored circulatory support to unload the LV. To follow is a review of the pathophysiology and prevalence of shock, limitations of current therapies, and the pre-clinical and translational basis for incorporating LV unloading into contemporary AMI and shock care.

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ePub ahead of print