Cardiogenic Shock


While the most common cause of cardiogenic shock (CS) is damage to the heart muscle resulting from a heart attack, other serious heart conditions may lead to CS, including some of the following:

  • An abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Inflammation of your heart muscle (myocarditis)
  • An infection of the valves of your heart (endocarditis)
  • A blood clot that forms in one or more arteries in your lungs (pulmonary embolism)
  • Heart failure (new or progressive worsening of heart pumping function)
  • A major traumatic injury to your chest
  • A heart valve problem such as severe leaking or tightness of the valve
  • A tear in the inner layer of your aorta, the main artery of your heart (aortic dissection)
  • Fluid or blood accumulation around your heart (cardiac tamponade)
  • Overdose of certain heart medications like beta blockers or calcium channel blockers (rare)

Risk factors

Knowing whether you have certain risk factors that increase your chance of developing CS can be helpful if you start to experience any symptoms.

If you fall into any of the following categories, you’re at an increased risk of developing CS:

  • Being an older adult (over age 70)
  • Having a history of heart attack or heart failure
  • Having diabetes
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Being female (assigned female at birth, or AFAB)

In addition, if you’ve had a heart attack, you’re also at an increased risk for developing CS if:

  • You’re 70 or older
  • Your systolic blood pressure number (the top number in a blood pressure reading) is too low, typically less than 100mmHg
  • Your heart beats faster than normal (tachycardia) or slower than normal (bradycardia)
  • You have difficulty breathing
  • You have swelling in your legs