Cardiogenic shock happens if the heart suddenly can't pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body.
This mostly occurs if the heart’s lower left chamber, the left ventricle (VEN-trih-kul), suddenly stops working because an ongoing heart attack prevents the heart muscle from getting enough oxygen-rich blood. As a result, the weakened heart muscle can't pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body.
In about 3 percent of cardiogenic shock cases, the heart’s lower right chamber, the right ventricle, isn't working. This means the heart can't effectively pump blood to the lungs, where it picks up oxygen to bring back to the heart and the rest of the body.
Without enough oxygen-rich blood reaching the body’s major organs, a number of complications can occur. For example:
How well the brain, kidneys, and other organs recover will depend on how long a person is in shock. The less time a person is in shock, the less damage will occur to his or her organs. This is another reason why it's so important to get emergency treatment right away.
The underlying causes of cardiogenic shock are conditions that weaken the heart and prevent it from pumping enough oxygen-rich blood to the body.
Most heart attacks occur as a result of coronary heart disease (CHD), also called coronary artery disease. CHD is a condition in which a fatty substance called plaque (plak) narrows or blocks the coronary (heart) arteries.
Plaque reduces blood flow to your heart muscle. It also makes it more likely that blood clots will form in your arteries. Blood clots can partially or completely block blood flow.
Conditions Caused by Heart Attack
Heart attacks can cause some serious heart conditions that can lead to cardiogenic shock.
Other Heart Conditions
Serious heart conditions that may occur with or without a heart attack can cause cardiogenic shock. Examples include:
Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a sudden blockage in a lung artery. This condition usually is due to a blood clot that traveled to the lung from a vein in the leg. PE can damage your heart and other organs in your body.