Vasopressor use in cardiogenic shock

Bruno Levy, Thomas Klein, Antoine Kimmoun
Current Opinion in Critical Care 2020, 26 (4): 411-416

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Data and interventional trials on vasopressor use during cardiogenic shock are scarce. Their use is limited by their side-effects and the lack of solid evidence regarding their effectiveness in improving outcomes. In the present article, we review the current use of vasopressor therapy during cardiogenic shock.

RECENT FINDINGS: Two recent Cochrane analyses concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove that any one vasopressor was superior to others in terms of mortality. A recent RCT and a meta-analysis on individual data suggested that norepinephrine may be preferred over epinephrine in patients with cardiogenic shock, in particular, after myocardial infarction. In patients with right ventricular failure and pulmonary hypertension, the use of vasopressin may be advocated under advanced monitoring.

SUMMARY: When blood pressure needs to be restored, norepinephrine is a reasonable first-line agent. Information regarding comparative effective outcomes is sparse and their use should be limited to a temporary measure as a bridge to recovery, mechanical circulatory support or heart transplantation.

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