Heart rescue: the role of mechanical circulatory support in the management of severe refractory cardiogenic shock

Gabriel T Sayer, Joshua N Baker, Kimberly A Parks
Current Opinion in Critical Care 2012, 18 (5): 409-16

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Cardiogenic shock is present in 3.5% of patients presenting with acute decompensated heart failure. Despite advances in therapy, mortality remains high, approaching 70% in some settings. Recent management strategies have incorporated the use of mechanical circulatory support (MCS), which has been associated with better survival in nonrandomized trials. MCS is increasingly used in the acute setting and has become an important treatment modality for cardiogenic shock.

RECENT FINDINGS: Small studies have demonstrated improved survival when MCS is instituted early in the management of cardiogenic shock. Numerous case reports support the benefit of MCS for various causes of cardiogenic shock, including acute myocardial infarction, cardiac allograft rejection, myocarditis and refractory arrhythmias.

SUMMARY: This article will review novel strategies in the management of cardiogenic shock including percutaneous MCS (intra-aortic balloon pump, Impella, TandemHeart, venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) and surgically implanted devices (CentriMag) that are used for short-term management. We will review the mechanisms involved in cardiogenic shock and discuss management and device selection strategies.

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