Shock – Classification and Pathophysiological Principles of Therapeutics

Author(s): Olga N. Kislitsina*, Jonathan D. Rich, Jane E. Wilcox, Duc T. Pham, Andrei Churyla, Esther B. Vorovich, Kambiz Ghafourian, Clyde W. Yancy.

Journal Name: Current Cardiology Reviews

Volume 15 , Issue 2 , 2019

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Graphical Abstract:


The management of patients with shock is extremely challenging because of the myriad of possible clinical presentations in cardiogenic shock, septic shock and hypovolemic shock and the limitations of contemporary therapeutic options. The treatment of shock includes the administration of endogenous catecholamines (epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine) as well as various vasopressor agents that have shown efficacy in the treatment of the various types of shock. In addition to the endogenous catecholamines, dobutamine, isoproterenol, phenylephrine, and milrinone have served as the mainstays of shock therapy for several decades. Recently, experimental studies have suggested that newer agents such as vasopressin, selepressin, calcium-sensitizing agents like levosimendan, cardiac-specific myosin activators like omecamtiv mecarbil (OM), istaroxime, and natriuretic peptides like nesiritide can enhance shock therapy, especially when shock presents a more complex clinical picture than normal. However, their ability to improve clinical outcomes remains to be proven. It is the purpose of this review to describe the mechanism of action, dosage requirements, advantages and disadvantages, and specific indications and contraindications for the use of each of these catecholamines and vasopressors, as well as to elucidate the most important clinical trials that serve as the basis of contemporary shock therapy.

Keywords: Shock, cardiogenic shock, septic shock, shock therapy, endogenous catecholamines, exogenous catecholamines, inotropes, vasopressors.

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Year: 2019
Page: [102 - 113]
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.2174/1573403X15666181212125024
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