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Cardiogenic shock is a multifactorial and diverse entity in which inotropes are the cornerstone therapy. Although published clinical trials have focused on pharmacologic treatment of cardiogenic shock, there is lack of an established and widely accepted decision-making algorithm on the use of inotropic agents in cardiogenic shock. The current review incorporates cardiogenic shock pathophysiology, inotropes and vasopressors pharmacodynamics. It emphasizes on each agent's indications, potential adverse effects, highlights special considerations and fsummarizes the recent guidelines. Finally, proposes an algorithm of inotropes and vasopressors use and their potential combinations based on the clinical stage of cardiogenic shock. This algorithm can be used as a guide during the initial management of cardiogenic shock while underlying cause investigation is underway.


Eftihia Polyzogopoulou, Angelos Arfaras-Melainis, Vasiliki Bistola, John Parissis. Inotropic agents in cardiogenic shock. Current opinion in critical care. 2020 Aug;26(4):403-410

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PMID: 32496275

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