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Since this is a category of shock there is insufficient perfusion of tissue (i.e. the heart) to meet the required demand for oxygen and nutrients. This leads to cell death from oxygen starvation, hypoxia. Because of this it may lead to cardiac arrest (or circulatory arrest) which is an acute cessation of cardiac pump function.
Additional recommended knowledge
Cardiogenic shock is caused by the failure of the heart to pump effectively. It can be due to damage to the heart muscle, most often from a large myocardial infarction. Other causes include arrhythmia, cardiomyopathy, cardiac valve problems, ventricular outflow obstruction (i.e. aortic valve stenosis, aortic dissection, systolic anterior motion (SAM) in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), ventriculoseptal defects or medical error.       
Signs and symptoms
An electrocardiogram helps establishing the exact diagnosis and guides treatment, it may reveal:
Echocardiography may show arrhythmia, signs of PED, ventricular septal rupture (VSR), an obstructed outflow tract or cardiomyopathy.
The Swan-ganz catheter or Pulmonary artery catheter may assist in the diagnosis by providing information on the hemodynamics.
In case of suspected cardiomyopathy a biopsy of heart muscle may be needed to make a definite diagnosis.
In cardiogenic shock: depending on the type of myocardal infarction one can infuse fluids or in shock refractory to infusing fluids inotropica. In case of cardiac arrhythmia several anti-arrhythmic agents may be administered, i.e. adenosine, verapamil, amiodarone, β-blocker. Positive inotropic agents, which enhance the heart's pumping capabilities, are used to improve the contractility and correct the hypotension. Should that not suffice an intra-aortic balloon pump (which reduces workload for the heart, and improves perfusion of the coronary arteries) can be considered or a left ventricular assist device (which augments the pump-function of the heart).   
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cardiogenic_shock". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|