Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


Cardiogenic shock complicating acute myocardial infarction (MI) carries a high mortality which in some series prior to 1980 exceeded 80%. Neither the use of inotropic and vasopressor agents nor intraaortic balloon counterpulsation was found to improve survival in this group of patients. Intravenous thrombolytic agents improve survival in patients with acute MI, but their role in cardiogenic shock is unknown. Reports of the use of surgical and mechanical interventions in patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction were examined to determine if there was any benefit to be derived from restoring blood flow to ischemic areas of the myocardium. It was found that urgent placement of intraaortic balloon counterpulsation followed by coronary bypass surgery may improve survival rates and successful coronary angioplasty also appeared to benefit patients with cardiogenic shock. Similar improvement in survival has been reported after successful coronary reperfusion. In surgical series with predominantly nonmechanical causes of shock, survival has varied from 40% to 88%. Data from our five-year experience in the management of MI patients with cardiogenic shock suggest that coronary revascularization with coronary angioplasty or bypass surgery improves survival in patients with cardiogenic shock especially when performed within 24 hours of the onset of shock.