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Clinical Investigations in Critical Care |

Do All Nonsurvivors of Cardiogenic Shock Die With a Low Cardiac Index?*

Noelle Lim; Marc-Jacques Dubois; Daniel De Backer; Jean-Louis Vincent
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*From the Department of Intensive Care, Erasme Hospital, Free University of Brussels, Belgium.

Correspondence to: Jean-Louis Vincent, MD, PhD, FCCP, Department of Intensive Care, Erasme University Hospital, Route de Lennik 808, 1070 Brussels, Belgium; e-mail: jlvincen@ulb.ac.be



Chest. 2003;124(5):1885-1891. doi:10.1378/chest.124.5.1885
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Study objectives: To characterize the hemodynamic course of cardiogenic shock and to relate the cause of death to ongoing cardiac failure or multiple organ dysfunction.

Design: Retrospective study.

Setting: A 31-bed department of intensive care in a university hospital.

Patients: All patients admitted for cardiogenic shock from January 1999 to December 2000.

Interventions: None.

Measurements and results: Charts were reviewed for demographic, clinical, hemodynamic, oxygen transport, inflammation, and organ dysfunction data. Of 62 patients with cardiogenic shock, 40 (65%) did not survive. Eight patients (20%) died from fatal arrhythmia, 14 patients (35%) died with low cardiac index (CI) [ie, < 2.2 L/min/m2], and 18 patients (45%) died with normalized CI (ie, > 2.2 L/min/m2) and a higher CI/oxygen extraction ratio. Of these 18 patients, 9 had evidence of infection. The patients with normalized CI were younger and stayed longer in the ICU than patients with low CI.

Conclusion: A substantial number of patients with cardiogenic shock die with a normalized CI, suggesting a distributive defect, in the absence of obvious infection. These patients are younger and have a longer ICU course. The release of mediators may be secondary to gut hypoperfusion.

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